Washington (February 24, 2023) – Today, following pressure from Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), the MBTA today committed to releasing monthly information to the public on current speed restrictions, as well as aggregate data on slow-downs on each train line. This announcement makes good on a commitment made by the MBTA in response to questioning by Senator Markey at a field hearing held by Senator Warren in October 2022, during which former MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak agreed to release previously undisclosed data on average trip times to the public, as well as a full list of repairs that still need to be completed in order to make the Orange Line safe and bring it back up to full speed.
“Last fall I asked leadership at the MBTA to come clean about their slow zones—telling the public where they are and why,” said Senator Markey. “Now, with a new commitment to transparency under Governor Healey’s leadership, I’m proud to say we’re getting an answer. This announcement moves us forward, but I won’t rest until the T is back on track, up to full speed, and fully doing right by its riders.”
“This is a positive step toward providing greater transparency to MBTA riders and the public at large about the conditions of our transit system, but our work is not done,” said Senator Warren. “The people of Massachusetts deserve a safe, reliable, and efficient transportation system and I will continue to fight alongside Governor Healey and Senator Markey to make that happen.”
The MBTA data, which will be available to the public and released monthly starting today on the MBTA’s Open Data Portal, will also include details on location, cause, speed limit, distance, and date initially reported.
The MBTA is also launching a public website to track its progress toward meeting the special safety directives issued by the Federal Transit Administration in August 2022. The website includes the MBTA’s corrective action plans for these directives, along with estimate dates for when the T aims to complete each required action.
Senator Markey, sponsor of the fare-free transit Freedom to Move Act and a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, and Senator Warren, chair of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Policy, are staunch advocate for riders and investment in Boston public transit.
In October 2022, Senator Warren held at a Boston field hearing entitled: “Economic Impacts of Inadequate Transit Maintenance and Oversight: Examining Management Failures at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities.” The hearing examined the MBTA’s failure to keep passengers safe and provide reliable service, and the urgent need to increase transparency and accountability at the MBTA and the Department of Public Utilities (DPU), as well as the benefits of electrification as a long-term solution to improve the reliability and safety of public transit, promote economic development and social justice, and mitigate the impacts of climate change. Last year, the Senators secured $580 million in federal funding for the MBTA to improve service and ensure the MBTA remains a reliable and accessible transit option for its riders.