The MBTA’s safety failures have attracted the attention of federal lawmakers. Senator Elizabeth Warren will join Senator Ed Markey, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, Federal Transit Administrator Nuria Fernandez, and Transit Matters Executive Director Jarred Johnson at a congressional subcommittee hearing in Boston on Friday to discuss the economic impact of inadequate maintenance of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, according to Warren’s office. Warren chairs the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs’ Subcommittee on Economic Policy. Warren has invited MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak and Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities Chair Matthew Nelson to testify.
“The T has had a monumental failure in leadership, commuters are the ones paying the price, and it’s time to hold folks accountable and make the necessary changes so everybody can have a safe and dependable ride,” Warren said in a statement to the Globe. “I hope that MBTA Manager Poftak and DPU Chair Nelson will appear at the hearing and share their plan to get the T back on track.”
The goal of a committee hearing is to get answers for the public about a particular issue or problem. A “field hearing,” such as the one Warren is convening in Boston, is rare. Most are held at the US Capitol. The meeting comes less than two months after the FTA issued a scathing report about safety at the MBTA following a year of serious incidents, including the dragging death of a passenger on the Red Line in April.