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MBTA clocks most derailments of transit systems nationwide

Officials call system "very safe."

The Green Line is the busiest light rail in the nation.

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The MBTA says its systen is safe.

That assurance was made to passengers after the release of national transportation data that showed showed the MBTA has more derailments than any other transit system in the country.

In 2016, there were eight derailments by MBTA vehicles, including six on the Green Line —down from seven in the prior year — and two involving subway maintenance vehicles after hours, according the National Transit Database numbers. The data do not include incidents on the commuter rail.

The MBTA also reported 20 collisions, two fires and four security concerns in 2016.

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No one was injured in any of the incidents.

By comparison, transit systems in San Francisco and New Orleans each had six derailments last year. Washington and Cleveland regional transit clocked in at five derailments.

MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturocalled Boston's subways "very safe" in a statement to Metro on Monday.

Track conditions were the main cause of derailments last year, Pesaturo said, but a comprehensive corrective action plan implemented last year was already improving safety.

"The T has many men and women work very hard every day to inspect and maintain tracks," he said. "Under this comprehensive program, the MBTA's rail maintenance division has moved from re-active to pro-active, closely monitoring track conditions and alignments."

Considering the Green Line is the busiest light rail in the country, Pesaturo said, the number of derailments is low.

Pesaturo pointed out the federal data is based on self-reported numbers by each transit system, which could mean discrepancies.

“The MBTA numbers include two incidents in which maintenance vehicles (operating during overnight hours) derailed. It's not clear if all U.S. transit systems reported maintenance vehicle derailments to the National Transportation Database, which the MBTA did,” Pesaturo said.

 
 
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