Many Bostonians rely on MBTA trains and buses to navigate our city and the surrounding areas on a daily basis. When taking an MBTA train or bus, one should not have to worry about being harmed in an avoidable accident.
Unfortunately, accidents do happen. They are sometimes due to mechanical errors and other such factors.
However, reporters with WBUR may have identified another significant factor putting MBTA passengers at risk: negligent drivers.
WBUR reviewed public records indicating that 25 drivers who continued to work for the MBTA at the time of the review had, since 2018, been suspended at least two times for safety violations. Specifically, they had received citations for infractions involving:
- Lack of attention to duty
- Customer safety
- MBTA property safety
- Generally preventable accidents
Those are just a few examples. Although it may be true that most MBTA drivers are responsible employees who play an important role in helping Boston residents and visitors get from Point A to Point B, it’s also worrying to consider that passengers may be at risk of being injured in accidents that occur when MBTA drivers are careless.
A Small Fraction of MBTA Drivers Cause Many Accidents
The 25 drivers identified in WBUR’s report constitute a mere 1% of all MBTA drivers. Despite this, they account for a total of 53 major MBTA safety incidents which have occurred since 2018.
Again, all of these drivers (whose names have not been revealed by the MBTA) have been suspended for safety violations at least two times. Three have been suspended three times. One of those three has even been recommended for dismissal from the MBTA.
MBTA representatives claim that drivers are held accountable when they violate safety rules. According to MBTA spokesperson Joe Pesaturo, “The MBTA has demonstrated time and time again that there are consequences, sometimes very severe, for those who fail to follow these rules. It takes continuous effort to maintain and improve positive safety culture, and that’s why the MBTA investigates violations of operating policies and takes disciplinary actions as warranted.”
Unfortunately, as WBUR’s reporters have pointed out, it appears that the punishments some MBTA drivers face may not be sufficient. For example, a Green Line collision that occurred near Boston University in July 2021 resulted in injuries to 24 passengers and three crew members. The crash occurred when the driver was traveling at 31 miles per hour in a 10 mph zone.
This was not an isolated incident. The driver who caused this accident had been issued six suspensions since 2015. His record indicated he had a history of speeding. Despite this, he was still permitted to drive for the MBTA. Passengers and crew members were injured as a result.
None of this is meant to suggest the MBTA is an inherently flawed organization. Again, the MBTA’s services benefit our city in general.
However, it’s still possible to be injured while riding an MBTA bus, train, or subway. Contact a Boston MBTA accident attorney at Colucci, Colucci & Marcus, P.C. if this ever happens to you or a loved one. You may be able to recover compensation for your medical bills and related losses. Learn more about your legal options in these circumstances by contacting us online or calling us at 617-698-6000.