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MBTA officials expect a federal safety probe of the transit system to continue for at least “the next few weeks” and have their eyes on “late summer” for the Federal Transit Administration to announce its findings.

The FTA’s “safety management inspection,” launched in response to a string of incidents at the T including fatalities, is already underway, MBTA Chief Safety Officer Ronald Ester said Monday.

“Last week was the formal kickoff and meetings began,” Ester told the MBTA board’s safety, health and environment subcommittee. “The inspection will continue over the next few weeks. As always, safety is the number one priority, as you just mentioned, and we will fully support the SMI review and we will cooperate with the FTA during this inspection.”

In an April 14 letter, FTA Associate Administrator for Transit Safety and Oversight Joe DeLorenzo said the agency is “extremely concerned with the ongoing safety issues” and would “immediately assume an increased safety oversight role of the MBTA system.”

Neither the FTA nor the MBTA publicly acknowledged the federal intervention for several weeks. After the news emerged, the FTA published a copy of DeLorenzo’s letter on its “frequently requested records” page.

Asked Monday when the MBTA expects to receive a report from the FTA, Ester replied, “I would say late summer for a possible report coming from the FTA, but that’s tentative.”

Ester also briefed the safety subcommittee about a different federal investigation the National Transportation Safety Board is conducting into an April 10 incident, where rider Robinson Lalin was dragged to his death after his arm became trapped in a Red Line train while attempting to exit the vehicle.

His presentation on Monday essentially recapped the preliminary report NTSB published on May 2 in which investigators said they found a “fault” in the train door control system that allowed it to move with the door obstructed. MBTA crews inspected other railcars and did not find any additional instances of the malfunction, officials said.

Ester said the MBTA’s maintenance department has “changed their inspection cycle and the way inspections are being done” to more regularly check for that kind of malfunction.

Timeline Presented For Fed’s Probe Of MBTA Safety Issues

by State House News Service time to read: 1 min