BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, or the MBTA, has been the subject of strong criticism this year. The agency is trying to turn their image around.
“The ‘T’ has had a really rough year. It started with the snow, it ended with this – I hope that’s the last of it,” said Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack.
Governor Charlie Baker and top transit officials presented two MBTA employees with citations for stopping a driverless passenger train carrying about fifty people at the time. After nine terrifying minutes, transit personnel last week brought the train to a halt by cutting off power to the electrified third rail. Investigators are now blaming the driver for violating several safety protocols.
Instead of focusing on the potentially deadly situation, transit officials celebrated the quick-thinking of two employees who stopped the train, preventing any collisions. MBTA General Manager Frank DePaola said, “they told those trains to run express. Don’t stop at anymore stations so that they could create some space in between the train, the driverless train, and the trains with drivers and passengers on them.”
The Governor refused to take any questions from reporters. As for the train’s operator, he’s on paid administrative leave pending the investigation.
There was a disciplinary hearing for that train driver scheduled for Monday. 22News does not yet know the outcome. Transit officials said the allegations against the driver are serious, and he could be fired.