MBTA Safety Incidents Prompt Federal Investigation

After a series of train derailments, fires, injury collisions, and fatal accidents, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has come under fire for what federal regulators called its “lax safety culture.” A “pattern of safety incidents” prompted the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to conduct a months-long investigation into Boston’s rail transportation system. The review revealed overworked employees, issues with staffing, a lack of safety protocols, and a long backlog of maintenance cases. On August 31, the FTA ordered the MBTA to address 53 problem areas.

Recent MBTA Accidents

In the past year alone, multiple accidents on and around the T have resulted in injuries and deaths. The transit system has decayed over the course of decades, according to a report by WBUR highlighting the following high-profile MBTA accidents:

  • June 2022: Two Green Line trains collided, sending four operators to the hospital.
  • April 2022: A man was dragged to his death by a Red Line train after his arm got stuck in a door with a faulty safety feature.
  • January 2022: A woman died after being struck by a commuter train in Wilmington. The gates designed to block the crossing were not activated at the time of the crash.
  • September 2021: Nine people suffered injuries and went to area hospitals after an escalator malfunctioned at MBTA’s Back Bay station.
  • September 2021: A Boston University professor died after falling through a rusted-out staircase near the JFK MBTA station.

And the above list only includes some of the transportation accidents that caused injuries and fatalities. Other potentially dangerous MBTA safety incidents included trains derailing, brakes failing, buses catching fire, and overhead wires falling and sparking in stations. In August, the MBTA shut down the entire Orange Line to catch up on maintenance under increased scrutiny by the FTA.

Federal MBTA Safety Investigation

Between April and June 2022, the FTA conducted a Safety Management Inspection of the MBTA rail transit system. The resulting report noted that the MBTA had a higher overall rate of reportable safety events than the rail industry average from January 2019 to April 2022. The report also noted an increase in the severity of MBTA safety events: from lesser property damage, short service disruptions, and minor injuries in 2019 and 2020 to more significant property damage, longer service disruptions, and more serious injuries requiring hospitalization in 2021.

Boston Public Transportation Lawyers

MBTA accidents can have a number of causes: operator negligence or impairment, equipment malfunction, lack of required training or certifications, lax safety protocols, improper maintenance, and more. If you suffered a serious injury on public transportation, you may qualify to receive financial compensation from the MBTA, the operator, or another party.

The skilled MBTA accident lawyers at Altman & Altman LLP can help you recover the funds for your medical bills, lost wages, disability, and more. We have handled hundreds of MBTA lawsuits in our five decades of experience. Whether you suffered a bus accident, a train accident, or another MBTA injury, we have the knowledge to win your case. Contact us today for a free consultation on your Massachusetts public transportation injury case.



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