MBTA to stop busing police to protests
Baker says alternative transport will be found
THE MBTA SAID on Friday that it will no longer use T buses to shuttle law enforcement personnel to protests, but it appears private bus operators will now take over that job.
Some MBTA employees earlier this week raised concerns about the T transporting law enforcement personnel to protests responding to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. In an essay on the subject, the employees wrote: “Our buses bring economic access, opportunity, and freedom of movement to our bus-dependent riders, who are disproportionately black. For the MBTA to use those very same buses to bring police and their weapons to those very same people is heartbreaking, hypocritical, and embarrassing.”
Pressured by several members of the T’s Fiscal and Management Control Board on Thursday, the T issued a statement on Friday saying the “MBTA will no longer provide transportation for non-MBTA law enforcement personnel to or from public demonstrations on MBTA buses.”Gov. Charlie Baker, at a press conference in Cambridge, indicated transportation may no longer be provided on T buses but it will be provided. He didn’t spell out exactly how that would be done, but it appears a private bus operator will be hired by either the city of Boston or the state.
Jim Evers, the president of the T Carmen’s Union, issued a statement saying the T has often been called upon to transport law enforcement personnel to special events. “The Union had agreed with MBTA management that we would continue to provide transportation to officers during the ongoing protests but the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board made the decision that our role should end,” he said.