Red Line drivers terrified when young people take over PA system


“MBTA Subway Operations team will work with transit police to find the way[s] to reduce these incidents.”

Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

An inbound Red Line train arrived at Broadway T Station last month. Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

Passengers on a recent Red Line trip were startled to hear screams over the public address system, leading to fears that someone might have taken over the train.

But yelling into the intercom was all the violators could do, according to the MBTA, which says it’s not possible for outsiders to access the train’s controls.

“There have been some incidents where young people have acted carelessly by breaking into the cab in the middle of the train (that’s where they gain access to the microphone for the PA system),” said Joe Pesaturo, an MBTA spokesperson. . an e-mail.

“There’s nothing the youngsters in the middle booth can do except use the microphone,” Pesaturo said. “All functional elements and controls for train operation are limited to the front cabin in the first carriage of the train.”

Still, it was enough to have someone on board call the police, said Kate Darling, a lawyer and robotics ethicist for MIT. The Boston Globe

“Everything said to the intercom was like yelling… It’s so scary to sit on a train and not know who’s driving the train,” she told the newspaper.

But the train operator is the only one who has control over it, according to Pesaturo, regardless of who uses the public address system.

“MBTA Subway Operations team will work with transit police to find the way[s] to reduce these incidents of young people breaking into the taxis in the middle of the trains,” he said.

On the same train, a teenager also used a smoke extinguisher in one of the cabins.

Rather than take the train to her usual stop, Darling said she got off at Charles Street station and took the 26-minute walk to MIT. Most other passengers also got off there, according to the Globe

“It’s not unusual for the train to stop and a bunch to start, but combined we just weren’t sure what was going on,” she said, according to the report. Globe† “We were alarmed, so we were happy to get off the train.”

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