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Severity of MBTA incidents continued to escalate since 2019, feds’ report shows


The severity of safety incidents has steadily increased at the MBTA over the past four years and continued to pile up during the course of an on-the-ground federal investigation.

“MBTA’s recent safety events also indicate an escalation in the severity of safety events, from minor property damage, brief service disruptions, and minor injuries in 2019 and 2020, to more significant property damage, extended service disruptions, and more serious passenger injuries requiring hospitalization in 2021,” the report said.

These events continued to surge in 2022, culminating with a passenger being dragged to death by a train on April 10, which prompted the FTA to launch its safety management inspection days later — only the second of its kind for a U.S. subway system.

According to the National Transit Database, the MBTA was responsible for 38%, or 5 of the 13 light rail collisions in the U.S. between 2017 and 2021, and 94%, or 45 of the 48 injuries that occurred from those incidents.


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