Frustrated by Yet Another MBTA Derailment, Transit Advocates Push for Change

Calls are growing to fix the MBTA after another derailment on Tuesday.

Public transit advocates want more resources and investments to be made in the aging system.

Elisabeth Boyce-Jacino was on the Red Line train that derailed at Broadway Station in South Boston Tuesday. While the trains were back up and running Wednesday, she has more than a few questions about safety on the tracks.

"It's frustrating to not know for sure if it's going to be completely safe or if it's going to get me where I need to go," Boyce-Jacino said.

The MBTA says an investigation is underway, but with a string of recent incidents — including a Green Line collision in July and an escalator malfunction that injured nine Sunday at Back Bay Station — Boyce-Jacino is not the only one concerned.

"I'm really scared someone is going to get hurt again," said Stacy Thompson, the executive director of the Livable Streets Alliance.

Thompson and others with the Transit is Essential Coalition plan to rally outside the Massachusetts State House Thursday and call on lawmakers to provide more funding for the MBTA.

Thompson also wants Gov. Charlie Baker to appoint a new fiscal management and control board for the MBTA. The agency has been without one since the end of June.

"A huge amount of the workforce depends on the T, and if it's not safe and it's not reliable, our economy is not going to come back out of COVID, and that's going to have a ripple effect across the region and the state," Thompson said.

Carl Berkowitz, a transportation engineering expert, said it is a maintenance issue that the MBTA needs to address.

"When you can't go from point A to point B safely, three things occur: poor management, poor training of employees and the lack of funds," Berkowitz said.

Baker said his administration has invested more than $5 billion to upgrade the system that has long been neglected, but he understands there is still more work to do.

"I think there have been eight derailments in the past 24 months. That's eight too many, but again, the T is safe. Every single day, thousands of people rely on it to go where they're going, and it works," Baker said.

The MBTA has not made anyone available for an interview, but put out a statement that said safety and reliability is its top priority, and the agency continues to invest billions of dollars in infrastructure projects.