As Passenger Transport went to press, a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) police officer was hospitalized in stable condition with gunshot wounds while pursuing two suspects in the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing. MBTA also suspended all service as part of a region-wide request for residents to "shelter in place," in the words of Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. One suspect was killed, while police continue the search for the other.
MBTA General Manager Beverly A. Scott, Ph.D., and Richard Davey, secretary and chief executive officer, Massachusetts DOT, manage the situation April 19 in the MBTA control center.
The FBI released photos of the two suspects on April 18. Published reports indicate that the suspects robbed a convenience store later that night, then shot and killed an MIT police officer as he sat in his car. The suspects later carjacked an SUV at gunpoint and headed toward Watertown, MA, with a large number of police including the MBTA officer in pursuit. Ten other officers in the chase reported that the suspects threw grenades from the window of their vehicle.
One published report stated that Boston police have taken charge of some MBTA buses as a way to move large numbers of officers.
Public Transit Agencies Respond to Boston Bombing
In the aftermath of the near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) previously resumed rail service on the Green Line—except at Copley Station, which is located in the incident zone, where the agency has a “strong law enforcement presence,” with National Guard troops and state and local police joining transit system police.
The agency stepped up security throughout the system and on vehicles, as did many other public transportation agencies in cities across the U.S.
Following the bombing, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s police department announced an increased police presence on the MTA Long Island Rail Road and MTA Metro-North Railroad commuter rail systems. In addition, the New York Police Department reported that it would have an additional presence in the MTA New York City Transit subway system.
New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJ Transit) said both uniformed and plainclothes NJ Transit Police officers would increase their presence throughout the system.
The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority said its police department was working directly with federal, state, and local agencies to stay current with any potential threats. Its proactive measures included communication with local emergency management offices.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority called on all day-shift police patrol officers to remain on duty through the evening rush hour to increase the security posture of the system.
Los Angeles Metro intensified patrols following the incident and reminded passengers to be aware of their surroundings. In addition, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department launched a website that provides updated information on safety and security enhancements.
The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District mobilized additional officers throughout the system.