MBTA launches panel to look for failures across public transportation system

BOSTON (WHDH) - The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is promising change after a pair of derailments left commuters frustrated over the past few weeks.

The MBTA announced Monday that they have set up a three-member Safety Review Panel to look for failures across the entire system, promising accountability.

“We are going to be transparent, we are going to work as fast as we can and we’re pulling in the same direction to not only improve the processes but improve the services,” said Monica Tibbits-Nutt of the MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board.

The T has experienced five derailments so far in 2019, which MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak says is the same amount of derailments for the entire year of 2018.

Repairs are still ongoing for the most recent derailment on the Red Line at JFK/UMass Station, which damaged the track, signals, switches and bungalows on June 11.

“We have ruled out a number of factors including operator error, any type of foul play and track infrastructure,” Poftak said. “We’re still in the process of investigating the components related to the vehicle.”

The Red Line is running at reduced service and will likely continue to do so through Labor Day.

Commuters have expressed their frustration with the MBTA, urging its leaders to think not just about the infrastructure and costs but the people who rely on the public transportation everyday.

“I heard of trains, I heard of tracks, I heard of signals, but what I’d also like to know is how many people were on that train, how many people were injured,” one concerned commuter said during the Monday meeting.

The frustrated commuters sat in the meeting holding signs urging Gov. Charlie Baker to take the T.

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