Rally planned Thursday for state to take action on public transportation, safety

BOSTON — A group is planning to rally at the State House on Thursday morning to call on the state to take more action on public transportation and safety. Transit is Essential says recent derailments, and dangerous conditions on T station stairs and escalators are a result of long-term disinvestment.

The day after the Red Line derailed, people were back on board when service resumed.

Many riders again found themselves being asked if they feel safe when riding.  

“Yeah, I do, I do,” one rider said.  

“The number of people who travel every day, having that happen every once in a while. That makes sense,” another rider said.

The T has recently seen its Red and Orange lines derail, the Green Line crash, a fatality on a T station stairway and multiple people hurt when an escalator malfunctioned.

At a groundbreaking in Framingham - we asked Gov. Charlie Baker: What is going on?  

“The T is safe and every single day thousands and thousands of people rely on it to get to where they are going and it works,” said Baker.

In the recent escalator and Red Line derailment - the T only posted updates on social media and emailed details of what happened. Neither the MBTA Manager or MassDot Secretary took questions or held a briefing to assure the public about safety.

We asked the governor if that was something he would have done differently from a management standpoint.

“I will certainly speak to Steve Poftak and Jamie Tesler about that,” Baker said. “I think the first thing they want to do is conduct the investigation that will make it possible for them to answer the questions that you are going to have and I think that is where they should start.”

Baker also defended his administrations commitment to the T. 

“Find me another administration that has spent $5 billion on modernizing and updating a system that was horribly neglected for decades before we took office. Is there still significant work that needs to be done? Absolutely,” Baker said.

Baker also talked about the infrastructure bill that Washington is in the middle of debating. He made it clear he hopes it passes in some form because he says there is a lot of money that will make a big difference to the T here in our state.

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