MBTA Forms Safety Panel to Address Issues

The MBTA Red Line is up and running. But it's still slow about two weeks after the entire signal system was seriously damaged during a derailment.

"We have ruled out a number of factors, including operator error, any type of foul play and track infrastructure," said General Manager Steve Poftak, who gave the MBTA's control board an update on repairs Monday afternoon.

Components from the train involved in the incident are getting an ultrasonic inspection to see what went wrong. The system is now operated manually, with 10 trains arriving every hour, as compared to 13 every hour before the mishap. The entire system is now set to get new automated controls within the next year.

"The fact that you got 10 trains running on a consistent basis is really remarkable, given the extent of the damage that's there," said Joseph Aiello, chairman of the control board.

The board has also appointed an independent panel to look safety in the wake of the Red Line derailment and others. It consists of transportation experts from around the country, including former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood.

Regular riders are happy to hear about the MBTA's emphasis on safety. But they want things to get back to normal on the Red Line as soon as possible.

"The Red Line has been intermittent," said Sandra Copman of Boston. "Today, was it was a tiny bit better."

Contact Us