BOSTON (CBS) – The trains are back up and running in South Boston after a derailment Tuesday prompted the Broadway MBTA station to shut down, diverting passengers to shuttle buses.
“I know we’re already at some funding deficits, and I wonder how we’re going to make some structural improvements,” said Laura Cole, as she waited for a train Wednesday.READ MORE: Runner Who Suffered Heart Attack During Boston Marathon Hopes To Come Back Stronger
A string of recent problems raises the question, is the MBTA safe? “The system is safe,” said Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker without hesitation, at a Wednesday news conference. He repeated it later. “Again the T is safe.” And in case anyone missed it, he tripled down. “I do believe the T is safe.”
Those words came a day after passengers shared images of people crawling out Red Line train windows at the Broadway Station. Two days before that, an escalator at the Back Bay stop suddenly reversed direction backward, causing a bloody pile-up. Earlier this month, a Boston University professor was killed when he fell through a rusty staircase at the JFK-UMass station.
“I think there have been eight derailments in the last 24 months,” said Governor Baker. “That’s eight too many.”READ MORE: Record Fall Warmth: An Unprecedented Autumn In New England
Passenger Matt Lewis says it runs through his mind every time he steps on board. “Is it going to derail? Is something else going to happen?” He was on an MBTA train during a different derailment on the Orange Line back in March. “Just felt a loud screech, a loud stop.”
The T sent a statement. “The MBTA’s top priority is ensuring the safety and reliability of the system and continues to invest billions of dollars on major infrastructure projects and procurement of new vehicles.”
“The T is continuing to invest over a billion dollars a year in its core operating system, which against historic measures is an enormous amount of money,” said Governor Baker.MORE NEWS: As Pediatricians Get Ready To Give COVID Vaccine To Children, Some Doctors Say Review The Data
Advocates for the Group Transit Matters say the governor has taken too long to appoint members to a new MBTA Board. They say without that, the agency lacks oversight and accountability. Wednesday, Governor Baker said, “we’re in the process of appointing a new board.”