BOSTON (WHDH) - Gov. Charlie Baker said he is “concerned” by the MBTA’s continuing safety problems, staffing shortages and service reductions, but as commuters continue to be frustrated Baker said the T is responding “accordingly” to issues.
Federal officials have been investigating the T following numerous safety concerns, including a passenger being dragged to death at a Red Line station earlier in the year. The Federal Transit Administration has issued several directives ordering the MBTA to improve, citing overworked dispatchers and runaway trains among other problems, and the MBTA has cut service to comply with those orders.
“It makes me late for work and it frustrates me,” said passenger David Daley.
“Of course I’m concerned about the recent challenges,” Baker said at a press conference Monday. “I think the FTA is doing exactly what they said they would do and the T is responding accordingly, I think that’s all good.”
Baker said he would take control of the T years ago and the Legislature is scheduling oversight hearings to look into safety problems under Baker’s watch.
“The Legislature has had oversight hearings when they felt they need to engage us directly in discussions on a variety of issues, I’m not surprised,” Baker said.
But he did have stronger words for the developers of the Government Center parking garage after the T shut down Green and Orange Line service underneath that building over the weekend when engineers discovered deteriorating support columns for the garage in T tunnels. HYM, the investment group demolishing the garage and developing it into a high rise, said the columns were degraded by decades of water leaks and were not related to construction.
But MBTA officials say they will hold the developer accountable for service disruptions, and Baker said HYM should have been aware of any issues with the columns.
“That belonged to the building dating back to the 60s,” Baker said. “HYM had two years to inspect and make decisions about the process for taking down the garage.”
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