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T Worker Dies, MBTA Says, Amid Massachusetts' Coronavirus Fight

"The MBTA can confirm that sadly, a member of the T’s workforce passed away this weekend," the agency said

Green Line MBTA

A person who works on the T died over the weekend, the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority said Wednesday.

The agency's statement didn't say what the employee died of or offer any identifying information, citing privacy laws, though it comes as the agency is contending with the deadly new coronavirus.

"The MBTA can confirm that sadly, a member of the T’s workforce passed away this weekend, and our thoughts are with this employee’s family and friends at this time. In accordance with applicable privacy laws, and out of respect for our employee, the MBTA is unable to comment on a cause of death," the statement said.

On Monday, the MBTA said that 18 members of its staff had tested positive for the new coronavirus, more than half of them bus drivers. The agency has altered its service as most of the region has been told to stay at home, and last week it asked people to avoid non-essential travel.

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Earlier Wednesday, before the death was announced, Boston Carmen’s Union President Jim Evers said the union had been working with the T on precautions to keep both staff and riders safe.

“Our members are concerned about their health and safety and their families' but they show up every day because other essential employees, like nurses and medical technicians, rely on public transportation. Our members are heroes, just like the essential employees they transport," Evers said in a statement.

On Wednesday, the MBTA began taking the temperature of all employees starting their shifts at the Cabot Garage, one of the agency's largest facilities. The MBTA said it aims to expand the initiative to the Charlestown Garage, and from bus operations to other departments.

Anyone with a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or more is being asked to notify their manager and contact their doctor. Fever is one of the symptoms of the new coronavirus, which has killed more than 120 people in Massachusetts as of Wednesday.

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