MBTA checks off one item on FTA safety list

2 old work trains back in use; new ones ordered

MBTA OFFICIALS said they have successfully checked off one item on the Federal Transit Administration’s safety checklist by getting two ancient work trains on the Green Line back in operation.

“This is a major milestone,” Katie Choe, the T’s chief of quality, compliance, and oversight, told a subcommittee of the MBTA board on Thursday.

The FTA cited the T for failing to have work trains that could be used to perform track and power repairs on the Green Line. To remedy the problem, the T decided to order new work trains, which could take at least 18 months to arrive, and repair the existing ones in the interim.

The existing trains are at the end of their useful life and had been gathering dust before the T launched a repair effort.

Choe said “it’s going to be awhile” before any other items on the FTA’s long safety list are checked off.

She also acknowledged a recent lapse on the safety front when an MBTA flagger was out with a representative from the Department of Public Utilities, the state’s safety oversight agency, and failed to wear a hard hat.

Choe said the state has provided $378 million to the MBTA to address the safety concerns raised by the Federal Transit Administration, but will probably need more money before the work is all done. She said $91 million has been spent so far.