Articles Posted in MBTA Accidents

Governor Deval Patrick recently announced that the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) will launch its late-night bus, subway and light rail service next spring, according to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT).
“Extending service on weekend evenings will allow the public to enjoy the many attractions and restaurants the region has to offer and give workers a more cost-effective option for getting home late at night,” said Governor Patrick.

But risks for accidents increase when the sun sets. Our Boston personal injury lawyers understand that officials with the MBTA are giving this late-night program a one-year pilot test run. The new schedule has been launched after members from the public and from businesses around the area asked for it. People are looking for affordable and convenient ways to get around town, but many don’t comprehend the risks involved — especially at night.
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Big Papi isn’t only reeling fans into Fenway, where riding with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has never been more popular. According to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), ridership broke records in October. Ridership for the entire month, when the Red Sox took home the World Series, increased by close to 4 percent over the October from 2012. During the month, there were more than 36 million passenger trips.
“Our October numbers represent the highest monthly ridership recorded since the beginning of the MBTA,” said Beverly Scott, MBTA General Manager.

MBTA accidents in Boston are also unfortunately common. Average daily ridership for the month jumped by more than 4 percent over October of last year. Daily, there were more than 1.30 million passenger trips taken. While ridership of all modes of transportation has increased, the biggest jumps were on the buses and the subway. It’s the Blue, Orange and Red Lines that carry an average of close to 40,000 more riders a day than they did in October of 2012. Buses landed more than 22,000 more passenger trips than October of 2012.
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A young man was hit and killed in Norwood by a commuter rail train. According to the Boston Globe, the accident happened just before 5:00 p.m. near Dean and Washington streets.
Our Boston personal injury lawyers understand that pedestrians fatally hit by oncoming trains is not an irregular event anymore. During the first five months of 2013, there were more than 356 pedestrians injured by passing trains. You might think that many of these accidents are caused by pedestrians — like trespassing or illegally walking near tracks. And you would be correct. However, federal authorities continue to point to far too many of the nation’s railroad crossings that are lacking proper warning equipment.

The truth of the matter is that most — if not all — of these accidents can be prevented. It just takes a little bit of awareness and caution.
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The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is awaiting the delivery of 75 double-decker coaches. Unfortunately, the South Korea-based company that was supposed to deliver on this promise has come up short — by a lot. The MBTA has yet to receive any of the coaches promised in the 2008 contract.
According to The Boston Globe, the company has a near $200 million contract with the MBTA and with the state of Massachusetts. Still, only three cars are expected to be in service in April and only 15 expected to be running by September.

Our Boston accident lawyers understand that the fleet of the MBTA is growing older and older by the day. It’s time that many of the subway cars, trains and buses are replaced. According to Beverly Scott, general manager of the MBTA, all of the new coaches expected should be ready for the commuter rail in 2014. But we’ve been awaiting the arrival of these coaches for quite some time now. Until they show, we’re left using the worn, aged fleet we’ve got now, which could serve up some serious injury risks. These older trains are running the maintenance crews ragged with repairs and services, all while depleting resources. This kind of service shouldn’t be something we’re sitting back and waiting on. We need a proactive approach to make sure all commuters are safe.

The contract was initially awarded back in 2008. In this contract, there were four cars that were expected by October of 2010 and the rest of the 75 were to be here by the end of 2012. Unfortunately, those first four didn’t make it to the MBTA until last fall — and they only made it to testing.

The company has committed more workers, materials and funding to the development of these coaches in the last few months. Officials say it’s not uncommon to experience delays like this one. About 10 years ago, the Hyundai Rotem made their debut in the US. They laid out prices to beat competitors and set out attractive promises. However, the company must ensure that these coaches get to us in an orderly manner. It’s an expectation, not a luxury.

It’s the responsibility of MBTA officials to make sure that this equipment is safe and working properly to keep riders safe. We can’t overlook late deliveries from companies when the safety of commuters relies on it.
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The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) may be extending its hours if Governor Deval Patrick gets his way. While he sees this move as staying ahead of the game and providing convenience to users, many say that it’s only going to cause more delays and frustrated riders.
According to WGBH, MBTA workers use the early-morning hours to make sure that everything is set and working properly. They prep the cars for rush hour.

Our Quincy accident attorneys understand that the nighttime hours are used by officials to replace faulty power cables within the T, like the ones that would up shutting down the T during a busy morning back in January. With the Governor wanting to increase the working hours of the T, when are crews going to perform maintenance and take care of preventative measures to help to eliminate those shutdowns and other problems a busy transit system like this often faces?

As it stands now, maintenance and repair crews with the MBTA are working to correct old and aged infrastructure — and reducing their work time may increase accident risks.

“We have a three and a half to four-hour window to get this work done. So it’s get in, get the cable out, get the cable in, and get out of the way,” said John Martin, superintendent of power systems and equipment station support for the T.

There are roughly 1,000 miles of cables that work to bring power to these trains, switches and signals. Unfortunately, there are only a few hours in the night where this kind of work can be done. That only allows crews to work on a few hundred feet a night. At that rate — the project will take years.

It’s important that we replace these cables now — as many of them are more than 50 years old.

Currently, there are over 500 MBTA workers who get the job done each night. They’re in charge of signal repairs, track maintenance, cable replacement and much more.

The MBTA set aside more than $240 million in the Fiscal Year 2013 to help to make the much-needed repairs, but that’s not enough. Officials estimate that it’s going to take more than $3 billion in maintenance to get it to where it needs to be. Not only are we lacking the funds, but now officials are working to limit the hours that these crews can work to make out transit system safer for users.

As you may not have known, Boston is the birthplace of American mass transportation. It’s important that we continue to set the example and lead the country is safe mass transit. And one of the most important roles is making sure that we’re provided the proper maintenance to our historical system and keeping it up with the demands of users today.
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As we recently reported on our Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog, officials with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority released apps for smartphone users that allowed them to download tickets instead of getting the paper ones.
Well, the Metro Boston is reporting that it’s been a big success. The app was launched about three weeks ago and has already won over tons of riders. It was first used at the North Station and then at the Framingham/Worcester and Providence/Stoughton Commuter Lines.

Our Boston personal injury attorneys understand that the app had made sales totaling close to $250,000 as of Tuesday. Most of these sales were made from 10-ride passes — allowing users to buy multiple tickets at once. You can buy single passes, too. Either way, with the app there is no more waiting in lines and no more misplacing your ticket. All you have to do is keep your cell phone on you.

Right now, customers who purchase a month-long pass using the new app can get a $10 discount. That’s not an offer that’s going to last forever though.

“We’re not planning for it to be permanent. We’re trying it out during the pilot phase as a way to incentivize customers after we launched the app for monthly passes,” said Joshua Robin with the MBTA.

Officials with the T are still out there mingling with riders during rush hour to try to get them interested in the convenience of the new app. They’ve been walking around stations each night trying to spread the word, trying to get you to join. And it doesn’t seem like such a bad idea.

As we recently reported, this is the first app of its kind in the country. All a rider has to do is download the app, available for both iPhones and Androids, and show their ticket (of flash pass) to the scanner. The app is also helping users to stay away from any kind of surcharges that come along with paper tickets.

If you wind up losing your phone, don’t worry! You are able to just transfer the tickets at any of the MBTA’s customer service locations.

Blackberry users will get their turn too, as it’s currently in developmental stages.

By the end of the 70s, the MBTA had become a lifeline for the city. It transported close to 500,000 passengers each day. Residents and visitors were looking for a quick and convenient way to get around the town and the MBTA had the answer.

Today, in terms of ridership, the MBTA continues to be the 5th largest mass transit system. It serves a population of close to 5,000,000 in close to 200 cities and towns. It covers close to 3,500 square miles, too. According to last look, the average weekday ridership for the entire system was close to 1.5 million passenger trips.
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According to officials with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), there are going to be roughly 400 new surveillance cameras placed along six Red Line stations. They’re planned to go up in 2013, according to the Boston Globe.

They’ll be going up at Porter, Kendall/MIT, JFK/UMass, Harvard, Charles/MGH and Andrew stations.
These cameras are part of a plan to double the security in these areas. They’ll eventually be at other stations, including bus, train, subway and other T stations. Residents can expect thousands of cameras, all funded through federal grants.

Our Boston personal injury attorneys understand that T stations can get pretty dangerous. Not only do you have to worry about accidents happening with the trains, buses and subways, but you also have to beware of the riders as well. You need to keep safety as a number one priority. Make sure you’re a safe traveler in all aspects of the term. Stay aware of your surroundings and travel with a plan.

The JFK/UMass will be the first of the stations to get these cameras. It’s getting more than 50. They will be going up during the end of the spring season or early in the summer. The rest are planned to go in during next fall or winter.

In addition to these expected cameras, the T installed and recently activated nearly 20 cameras on the Fairmount commuter rail line at the new Talbot Avenue Station. Close to 20 more are going in at the Morton Street station, too.

“The projects are part of the MBTA’s ongoing efforts to standardize security…to ensure that law enforcement personnel and first responders have situational awareness in the event of an emergency or security incident,” said Joe Pesaturo, T spokesman.

Cameras have already been going up at almost all of the T stations across the state over the last 5 years. More and more trains and buses have them nowadays, too. Officials say that it’s not only about monitoring transit operations, but it’s about keeping an eye on rider safety, too!

Some groups, like the ACLU of Massachusetts, have voices concern that these new surveillance cameras are serving as a potential invasion of privacy. Whether riders agree or disagree with them — they’re still going up and they’re keeping their eye on you!

Officials with the MBTA remind riders to pay attention to personal safety while using the T. Make sure you’re always aware of your surroundings and of the people who are around you. Try to avoid listening to headphones so that you can hear what’s around. This will help to keep you from being a target for predators. Don’t talk to strangers, especially when you’re in an isolated area. If you’re carrying a wallet, make sure you keep it in your front pocket. If you ever get attacked, scream loudly! You can even blow a whistle, if you carry one, to help to draw attention. You also want to stay one step ahead of the traffic around you, including other travelers and of the trains, buses and subways. Travel wise, travel alert and travel safe!
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Recently, customers of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s (MBTA) four commuter rail lines were offered apps to allow them to purchase tickets to ride the train on their smartphones instead of using paper tickets.

This app is the first of its kind in the nation. It’s available through the MBTA mTicket app for Andriod and the iPhone. All a user has to do is show the ticket on the screen of their phone. It’s a digital “flash pass” that contains an encrypted bar code.
“The new MBTA mTicket application is the latest innovation from MassDOT and the MBTA.” said Richard A. Davey, CEO and Secretary for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT).

Our Boston personal injury attorneys understand that customers can buy tickets in a matter of seconds now. The downloaded tickets are stored in the users “ticket wallet.” Now, customers don’t have to worry about losing their ticket. And even if you lose or break your cell phone, you can just transfer the tickets at any of the MBTA’s customer service locations. This is also helping customers to get out of those pesky surcharges that accompany paper ticket purchases. It’s also a lot easier, more convenient and even faster as riders don’t have to wait in line to purchase tickets anymore. It’s all done in the palm of your hand.

Lines Participating in the Pilot Project (Phase 1):


The second phase of the pilot project will allow customer using the Old Colony, Greenbush, Providence, Fairmount, Franklin and the Worcester Commuter Rail Lines to purchase these paperless tickets.

Customers will also soon be able to get monthly passes to ride on their phones. That’s expected to launch in the beginning of 2013. Pretty soon, there will be no more paper tickets left to ride with the MBTA.

And customers seem to be warming up to this new technology. According to the most recent reports, the app has been used about 6,000 times since it was released. The Boston Globe reports that this app is more cost effective than installing ticket machines at all of the Commuter Rails. Money is being saved and riders are having less time to wait in lines. It’s a win-win for everyone.

“There’s been a lot of positive feedback — many are excited about the app and it’s more convenient for them,” said acting General Manager Jonathan Davis.

You can get the app and buy these tickets with just a credit card. The ticket will appear black and white on your screen until you hit “activate.” Upon doing this, the ticket will pop into color and you’re ready to go!

It’s not only the customers who are liking the new app either. Conductors are saying it’s making everything a lot easier, too! Lines are dwindling, confusion is simmering and we’re saving a lot of trees in the process.

Don’t worry BlackBerry users. An app for your phone is currently in the works!
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As we recently reported on our Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog, there were more than 4,000 citations issued so far in 2012 for people trying to try to ride without paying the fare.

According to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), that number of fare-hoppers is up nearly 60 percent from the same time from last year — when there were less than 2,300 citations written.
Now, there are new procedures that customers are going to have to go through before getting on the T. It’s all a part of the new, strict front-door-only policy, according to The Daily Free Press. The new procedures might irk paying customers a little, but have been proven to work. By busting fare-hoppers, precious funds can be kept within the T and riding can be made more convenient and safer.

Our Boston MBTA accident attorneys understand how critical it is that the MBTA makes every dime that it deserves. Our safety relies on fares. The MBTA is already dealing with a shrinking budget. With less and less funds, more strain is being placed on the system with each passing year. For this reason, and to help to keep you safe, officials with the MBTA decided that it was time to step up security. This was in reaction to public concerns from the summer. Riders insisted that the increase in fares be coupled with a stricter collection policy. If one had to pay — everyone had to pay.

If you look closely, there are new cameras in several stations. They’re monitored by the MBTA Transit Police. They’re pointing at the automatic fare collection devices. In addition to the cameras, there’s a new front-door exit policy on the Green Line.

“We’ve had a lot of success in arresting individuals who are wanted who are committing fare evasions,” said MBTA Transit Police superintendent-in-chief, Joseph O’Connor.

Another precaution that officers have taken is placing more officials around the station to serve as a deterrent. According to the numbers, this seems to be working — not only with fare-hoppers but with the overall crime.

Public concern was reportedly the main reason for the rear doors shutting now on the green line, according to Joe Pesaturo, spokesman for the MBTA. At first, riders say that this new operation was irritating and inconvenient, but many report that they’re starting to get used to it. Many riders say that if they have to pay the fare then everyone else should have to pay, too.

If you’re busted trying to ride the T without paying the fare, you run the risks of getting slapped with a $50 fine.
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A 20-year-old man was hit by an oncoming Orange Line train, according to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA).

The Boston Herald reports that the man was walking along an area that was fenced off to the public. The accident happened as the train was heading into the Malden Center station. Thankfully, the man is expected to survive, but suffered some serious injuries to his extremities. He was being treated at the Massachusetts General Hospital. The accident happened just before 9:00 p.m. Officials with the Transit Police report that the visibility was poor because of the rain in the area.
“Service was suspended in both directions and bus diversion was established. While (investigators) are down on the tracks they hold the trains and use the buses,” said Lt. John Landers with the Transit Police.

Our MBTA accident lawyers understand that while trains are awfully convenient for residents and visitors to the area, they can also be extremely dangerous. While officials claim that the MBTA has been getting safer in recent years, the truth of the matter is that there are still far too many accidents occurring. According to the most recent statistics, there are close to 1.5 accidents that happen for everyone 100,000 miles traveled. This might not seem like a lot to you, but when you figure how many millions of miles are traveled by the fleet every year, you’d think twice.

Many of the accidents that occur with the MBTA are in fact preventable. Officials estimate that close to 85 percent of accidents that happened in 2009 that involved only MBTA buses could have been avoided had drivers been more cautious. The case isn’t always the same when we’re talking about MBTA’s trains and subways. In these cases, it should be common knowledge that these vehicles are not able to stop to avoid an accident. Residents have to rely on the warnings of gates and flashing lights to alert them about upcoming trains and subways. It’s when these systems don’t work that accidents result. That’s why we’re asking customers to be their own warning system and to be aware of their surroundings at all times. Awareness is one of the best ways to cut out your risks for an accident.

Safety Tips from the MBTA:

-While waiting for a train or subway, make sure you wait in a central location. Stay in areas that are well lit and stay away from tracks.

-Keep an eye on where the closest Police Call Box is should you encounter an emergency.

-When riding on a train, remember that the operators can be reached by using the intercom that is located at the end of every train.

-When riding during off-peak hours, make sure you ride as close to the train operator as possible.

-Should you be attacked, be sure to scream or blow a whistle in order to bring attention to your situation.

-Keep children close by and supervised at all times. Hold the hands’ of young children.
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