Transit experts and advocates, including one member of the MBTA’s oversight board, slammed the agency for its response to protests against police violence, arguing its leaders are “failing to rise to the occasion.”

After MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said the T closed many downtown stations following Sunday protests because of safety concerns, the TransitMatters advocacy group updated a previous statement to describe Poftak’s explanation as “disingenuous.”

“Shutting down the four main transfer hubs and most other downtown stations effectively stranded hundreds and severely inconvenienced hundreds more,” the group wrote. “The General Manager’s statement, ‘it is our preference at the MBTA to always provide service to our customers unless safety concerns necessitate closure,’ reflects a peculiar mindset. It is the duty and responsibility of the MBTA to provide service to the public.”

Monica Tibbits-Nutt, vice chair of the Fiscal and Management Control Board, also called out decisions to close stations, writing on Twitter, “This is unacceptable. Full stop.”

TransitMatters advocates demanded MBTA leaders offer clearer information on how agency buses support police operations at protest sites, including whether drivers are given an opportunity to decline to do so and what the practice costs.

TransitMatters Knocks MBTA for Post-Protest Station Closures

by State House News Service time to read: 1 min