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MBTA forms panel to create, upgrade safety standards

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
MBTA
File photo courtesy of MBTA
MBTA

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) now has a Safety Review Panel that will conduct an independent and transparent review of MBTA safety practices and past incidents. The panel also will help improve safety within the agency.

The panel will work with federal and state oversight partners and regulators, including the Federal Transit Administration, Federal Railroad Administration and the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities “to ensure a comprehensive effort that takes advantage of the expertise that resides within those partner organizations,” according to the MBTA.

The move was announced by the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board, which is initiating the effort to see to what extent safety management protocols should be expanded. The safety panel could consider adopting new safety standards or modifying existing ones.

Former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, former Acting FTA Administrator Carolyn Flowers and former New York City Transit President Carmen Bianco will serve on the Safety Review Panel.

“All 3 members have significant experience focusing on safety in the transportation and transit arenas,” MBTA said. “With each panelist having a reputation for candor, the group brings an independence of thought, as well as disparate backgrounds that will provide invaluable perspectives and insight.”

The panel is expected to finalize a scope of work, preliminary schedule, and list of deliverables that it expects to issue in the coming weeks.

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