Federal Transit Administration Issues Safety Stand Down Order To MBTA

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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — On Friday, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority disclosed that the Federal Transit Administration issued a "safety stand down" on their service following multiple incidents of unmanned trains moving out of yards.

A "safety stand down," a spokesperson for the MBTA told WBZ NewsRadio, requires briefings for workers moving and/or securing a disabled rail vehicle to be in compliance with FTA requirements. MBTA officials say those briefings will happen on a rolling basis, with sessions at the start of shifts and during breaks for those who need them. Employees cannot return to work on securing out-of-service trains until the safety briefings are complete.

Service is expected to be maintained at a regular schedule with little disruptions despite the stand down order, officials said.

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Responding to the FTA's order, the MBTA issued a statement that said the T met all federal deadlines and requirements and has developed Corrective Action Plans to address the problem of runaway trains.

Among the changes made, the MBTA says they have "issued a new series of safety directives, trainings, and polices for operators regarding train movements in rail yard facilities and car houses."

WBZ's Karyn Regal spoke with President of the Massachusetts Senate Karen Spilka, and asked if additional funds could pave out a solution for the MBTA.

"I think it's a combination— that's why we had the transportation chairs Senator Brendon Crighton and the House Chair [Representative William Straus] did an oversight hearing to try and figure out what more we could do. It's every week there seems to be something else— we in the legislature just gave another $600 million dollars to the T for hopefully improvements to address what the FTA has stated concerns for," Spilka said.

The order comes after another runaway Red Line train rolled away on Monday, about a week after a fire broke out on an Orange Line train car.

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