The Department of Public Utilities has overseen MBTA security for greater than 50 years, in accordance with its chair, however a look at its web site reveals the T shouldn’t be included in its mission assertion.
“(The DPU) is responsible for oversight of investor-owned electric power, natural gas and water utilities in the commonwealth,” its mission assertion stated.
“In addition, the DPU is charged with developing alternatives to traditional regulation, monitoring service quality, regulating safety in the transportation and gas pipeline areas, and the siting of energy facilities.”
A failure to say the T in its on-line job description is extra obvious after a federal report discovered the DPU has been ineffective in its state security oversight perform, and because it faces additional scrutiny throughout a legislative listening to on Thursday.
“It’s telling the relevant division is called, not transportation safety, but transportation oversight,” stated Mike Barrett, Senate chair of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities & Energy, which is holding the listening to to weigh continued DPU oversight.
“We make a mistake if we assume the role is to focus on T safety,” he added.
According to the DPU’s web site, its transportation division regulates the charges and practices of frequent carriers used to move passengers and property, together with vans, railways and buses. It additionally licenses all intrastate Massachusetts-based motor bus corporations.
The MBTA is listed first, nevertheless, among the many eight transit entities the DPU says it oversees.
“In its mission to provide proper oversight, the DPU conducts safety risk monitoring of the MBTA, such as field work and auditing activities,” the DPU stated in a press release.
“This includes conducting site visits of accident scenes and ensuring the MBTA’s corresponding investigations are thorough and that the root cause is identified.”
As a part of its report, the Federal Transit Administration ordered the DPU to beef up its staffing, which was additionally criticized throughout a separate legislative listening to held final month.
The DPU’s transportation division has six full-time workers who work on rail security, in addition to an assistant director, who works completely on rail, and a director who supervises each rail and customary provider oversight, the company’s assertion stated.
The division is working to fill 5 new, and three vacant, full-time positions, which will likely be centered completely on rail security.
The DPU can also be in search of to fill new assistant director and director positions particular to rail security, and a brand new director of rail transit security, which it says will higher handle security threat monitoring, the assertion stated.