A second escalator reversing at an Orange Line station has officials outraged over another safety concern at the MBTA, with legislators planning a hearing to question Charlie Baker’s management of the agency.
MBTA officials said Wednesday that an escalator at the Chinatown MBTA station malfunctioned and abruptly reversed direction from up to down on Sunday evening. Ten passengers were on the escalator and no injuries were reported, unlike a previous incident where an escalator at Back Bay station reversed direction, injuring nine people.
T officials said they took the escalator out of service, in the latest confirmation of safety scandals. The MBTA also once again pulled all new Orange and Red Line cars from service due to safety concerns this week, confirming the removal the same day officials announced a supervisor was suspended after uncoupled cars from a Red Line train rolled through Braintree station last month.
The MBTA is facing increasing scrutiny after a scathing report from the Federal Transit Administration, which launched an investigation into the T following the dragging death of a passenger at a Red Line station earlier in the year. State lawmakers said they plan to call for hearings on the agency, and are questioning whether Baker — who demanded control of the T seven years ago — has shifted too many resources to new projects rather than overseeing the day-to-day operation of the transit system.
“The T needs to get beyond responding crisis or failure to failure and have the broad examination of what hasn’t been present,” said State Rep. William Straus, chairman of the House Committee on Transportation. “Safety needs to be clearly put front and center.”
“It’s so frustrating,” said Boston Mayor Michelle Wu. “With the T it’s always two steps forward one step back, three steps back, so we need to make sure that we’re putting in the resources to fix what needs to be fixed, maintain and plan ahead.”