Downing Pushes Baker To Fill MBTA Oversight Board

Urges Administration to prioritize transit oversight and investment in light of recent crises

For Immediate Release:
September 30, 2021


East Boston, MA — Following the latest derailment of an MBTA Red Line train, former state senator, clean energy business leader, and current gubernatorial candidate Ben Downing released the following statement:

“On Sunday, an escalator at Back Bay station reversed direction and descended at high speeds, injuring nine people. On Tuesday, a Red Line car derailed at Broadway station, marking the eighth time an MBTA train has derailed in two years,” Downing stated. “The Governor insists that the T is safe, but this week’s incidents are only the latest in a string of disastrous episodes that call into question the validity of that claim.”

“These incidents have underscored the critical need for MTBA oversight and transparency before more lives are lost, injuries are sustained, and commutes are disrupted,” Downing continued. “The fact that Governor Baker continues to stall and delay filling the vacant MBTA board seats, especially in light of repeated safety incidents, is alarming but unsurprising. The Baker-Polito Administration has consistently failed to treat transit issues with the urgency these problems demand and our residents deserve.”

“In a state with as many resources as Massachusetts, our transportation infrastructure should not be crumbling beneath us. We need aggressive, targeted investment in transit and an accountable oversight body, not vague temporizing, finger pointing, and photo ops.”

“At such a critical juncture in the fight against climate change, we need to be encouraging folks to use public transportation as much as possible—but executive leadership needs to hold up its end of the bargain by filling the MBTA Oversight Board seats and making sure our trains and buses are safe, reliable, and well-governed.”