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Escalator malfunctions, reverses direction at Chinatown MBTA station

Another MBTA escalator malfunction investigated
Another MBTA escalator malfunction investigated 02:29

BOSTON – An escalator at the Chinatown MBTA station malfunctioned over the weekend and suddenly began moving in the opposite direction, though no one was hurt during the incident. 

It happened Sunday evening while about 10 passengers were on the escalator.

The escalator unexpectedly reversed from up to down. All of the passengers were able to safely step off at the bottom, an MBTA spokesman said.

Immediately after the incident the escalator was taken out of service. The MBTA said the escalator remains out of service while the cause of the malfunction is investigated and fixed.

MBTA escalator
An escalator at the Chinatown MBTA station is shut down after a malfunction CBS Boston

Robert Sumwalt is CBS' transportation safety analyst; he's familiar with Boston's public transit record. "There's the potential for injury, people are carrying groceries and babies," Sumwalt said. "We don't want germs so we may not hold onto the handrails. Yet when something like this happens it demonstrates just how fragile the system can be."

Shocking video from September showed another escalator at the Back Bay Station did the same thing. That Sunday evening incident sent nine people to the hospital.

This incident comes the same week the MBTA announced new Orange and Red Line trains are getting taken out of service again due to a battery issue and a reduced service schedule due to a lack of dispatchers.


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