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MBTA suspends employee seen apparently sleeping while operating second car of trolley

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  July 10, 2013 01:13 PM

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The MBTA has suspended an employee after a rider shot a video that appears to show the worker sleeping in the operator’s seat of the second car of a moving trolley.

“Even though this operator was in the second car and not operating the trolley, there is absolutely no excuse for this type of egregious behavior,” the T said in an e-mailed statement from spokeswoman Kelly Smith. “Our customers' safety is and always is our top priority and they can be assured that this situation will be handled swiftly and with the utmost care.”

The video was taken Monday on an inbound trolley on the D branch of the Green Line, Smith said.

The video appears to show a T employee in the operator’s seat of the trolley, hunched over and nodding off with his head down while the train rolls along.

Smith said T officials were made aware of the video by a news outlet that received the video from a rider who shot the footage. The video was posted Tuesday alongside news reports on the websites of local media outlets, including WCVB.com and MyFoxBoston.com.

Smith said the T does not know exactly where along the D branch the trolley was when the video was shot.

The spokeswoman said the employee has worked for the T for about two-and-a-half years and will be suspended until an investigation is complete.

“This employee is facing serious disciplinary action up to and including termination,” Smith said.

“The MBTA has a very aggressive fatigue awareness program that is required for all safety-sensitive employees,” she said. We continuously examine and improve upon our safety and training programs to provide our customers with the best possible service."

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at mjrochele@gmail.com.
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