Federal Transit Administration orders ‘immediate security standdown’ in MBTA

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The shutdown comes after a lengthy investigation by the FTA, several train incidents and a fatality in early April.

A man waits for the Red Line to arrive at a downtown crossing on June 20, 2022. Carlin Stehl / The Boston Globe

The Federal Transit Administration has ordered an “immediate security standdown” at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority following another runaway train incident.

This standdown will require a safety briefing for all workers operating or securing out-of-service trains at MBTA’s railyards, according to a July 28 letter from FTA Chief Safety Officer Joe DeLorenzo. Boston Globe.

The letter states, “The FTA requires a security standdown to prevent the MBTA from allowing any employee who did not attend the security briefing to move any rail transit vehicles in the yard or shops Is.”

These briefings have become necessary because the federal agency has “determined that a combination of unsafe conditions and practices exists such that there is a substantial risk of death or personal injury,” according to the letter.

The briefing will include a review and discussion of facts from three recent runaway train incidents, including the latest at Braintree station on the Red Line on Monday, and re-training on MBTA procedures. Each training will take 15 minutes and will be done on a rolling basis, according to MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo.

The rolling nature of the training will allow the MBTA to “maintain service at current levels with little disruption”, Pesaturo wrote in an email. Globe.

The directive, not the first of its kind from the FTA, comes after a lengthy security check at the MBTA following the death of a passenger on April 10 whose hand was stuck in the door of a train on the Red Line. The first directive came on June 15, asking the MBTA to address four areas of safety issues, including addressing unintended and uncontrolled train movements at maintenance facilities and rail yards.

One Twitter user described the grim outlook of MBTA riders on July 22 when they wrote “another day of ‘signal delay’ on MBTA, but today at least nothing is there”.

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