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FTA "extremely concerned" with MBTA's safety issues, plans inspection

FTA "extremely concerned" with MBTA's safety issues
FTA "extremely concerned" with MBTA's safety issues 02:28

BOSTON -- The Federal Transit Administration wrote a letter to MBTA general manager Steve Poftak criticizing the agency's safety protocol after a man was killed on the Red Line last month. His arm got stuck in a door and he was dragged more than 100 feet.

"The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is extremely concerned," the letter read. "FTA leadership recently discussed the pattern of safety incidents with MBTA executive leadership, yet it remains unclear what actions the MBTA Board and executive team are implementing to prevent and address the system's safety violations."

Along with the Red Line door incident that took the life of Robinson Lalin, the letter referenced recent derailments, collisions, and the death of Roberta Sausville Devine, who was killed when her car was hit by a commuter rail train at the Middlesex Avenue Railroad crossing in Wilmington.

The FTA asked to conduct a Safety Management Inspection which will "obtain critical data needed to establish MBTA's safety risk profile and provide a roadmap to building a robust safety culture within your agency,"  the letter said.

The federal agency also said they will immediately take on an "increased safety oversight role" of the MBTA. Inspections begin this month.

A statement from the MBTA said they fully support the FTA's desire to make transportation as safe as possible and that the T has already held a meeting with them.

"We've almost doubled the size of the safety department in the last two years," Poftak said Tuesday.  

The Lalin family is skeptical. "You guys have to tighten up and get it together because you are literally damaging people's lives," Kelvin Lalin, Robinson's nephew. 

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