The Majority of MBTA Riders Report Feeling Unsafe

Nearly three-quarters (70%) of current and former MBTA riders have felt unsafe at least once or twice because of the poor condition of the system’s infrastructure, according to a survey by MassINC Polling Group. While the ranking varied by mode of transportation, most MBTA services did not get a passing grade from riders.

The subway and trolley service received the agency’s lowest score, with less than one-third (28%) of poll respondents giving it a “good” or “excellent” rating. Only 35% rated bus service as “good to excellent” with the rest ranking it as “poor to fair.” The commuter rail earned the best marks, but still less than half (46%) of respondents said the service was at least “good.”

The poll was conducted in August, before a report released in September highlighted problems with MBTA track maintenance safety. An independent review by a consulting firm found that track inspection workers were often unqualified, inexperienced, or both. It also addressed other safety issues such as inadequate staffing, misunderstandings of job duties, and a lack of standardized procedures for track inspections.

MBTA Safety Incidents

In the past few years, the safety of the T has been called into question by a series of station incidents, subway accidents, train derailments, and other issues. The following is just a sample of the kind of MBTA accidents that have made the news in the last three years.

  • Commuter Rail (2023): A pedestrian in Ashland was killed after being struck by an MBTA commuter rail train as he was walking home.
  • Train (2022): A man died after being dragged by a Red Line train when his arm got stuck in a door with a faulty safety feature.
  • Commuter Rail (2022): A woman was killed by a commuter train in Wilmington; it was later found that the crossing gates were not activated at the time of the crash.
  • Train (2021): More than 27 people were injured and transported to the hospital when two Green Line trains collided on Commonwealth Avenue in Brookline.
  • Back Bay Station (2021): Nine people went to local hospitals with injuries after an escalator malfunctioned.
  • JFK Station (2021): A Boston University professor died after he fell through a dangerously rusted JFK/UMass station staircase.

The pattern of safety incidents with the MBTA’s rail transit system prompted a federal investigation in 2022. In August of that year, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) released a report ordering the MBTA to fix dozens of problem areas, from staffing and training to communication and maintenance.

Boston MBTA Lawyers

While public transportation is generally safe and convenient, accidents do happen. The first step if you have been injured on the MBTA is to get medical attention as soon as possible. The next step is to contact a local attorney to protect your legal rights. By doing so, you have a better chance to recover the compensation you deserve and hold those responsible for your injuries accountable.

At Altman & Altman LLP, we have handled hundreds of MBTA accident cases in our 50-year history. If you or a family member has been injured on public transportation, don’t wait to seek the legal help you need. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with our experienced MBTA injury lawyers to learn more about how we can assist you.


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