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Massachusetts Legislature to reconsider DPU oversight of MBTA

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A state legislative committee plans to hold a hearing in October to determine the viability of the Department of Public Utilities’ continued safety oversight of the MBTA, given the troubling findings of an extensive federal report released last week.

“We’ve been disturbed and disappointed to read the contents of the safety management inspection of the Federal Transit Administration, dated Aug. 31,” state Sen. Michael J. Barrett and Rep. Jeffrey N. Roy, co-chairs of the Joint Legislative Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy, wrote in a letter to DPU Chair Matthew Nelson.

“The document has much to say about the MBTA, but it also has much to say about your agency,” the letter said. “The report notes that the DPU ‘does not use its available resources as effectively as it could,’ ‘has not demonstrated an ability to address safety issues,’ and has not ‘validated’ the T’s management of fatigue among employees.”

In the letter, Barrett and Roy invited Nelson to testify at the hearing, which the committee will conduct to “inquire into the Department of Public Utilities’ discharge of its responsibility to monitor the safety of MBTA operations.”

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