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Most Boston voters think MBTA is safe despite streak of safety incidents: poll

Passengers exited the the MBTA Orange Line.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

A series of recent safety incidents on the MBTA system hasn’t bruised the agency’s reputation too badly among likely Boston voters, a new MassINC poll found.

More than 7 in 10 people surveyed consider the T safe to ride in terms of the condition of the system. Meanwhile, 20 percent said they consider the system “not too safe” or “not at all safe.”

Researchers probed voters about the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority after a series of recent safety incidents, including a bloody escalator malfunction at the Back Bay T station and a Red Line derailment last month.

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Fewer of the respondents said they think the T is safe in terms of the risk of COVID-19 — 65 percent. Many acknowledged they are riding the T less frequently than before the pandemic. Just 13 percent said they are riding the T four or more days per week; 28 percent said they rode the T four or more days per week before the pandemic.

Weekday bus and subway ridership is back to 58 percent of what it was pre-pandemic, according to MBTA data analyzed by TransitMatters, a transportation advocacy group.

The MassINC Polling Group conducted the live telephone poll of 501 likely voters from Oct. 6 to Oct. 12 for WBUR, the Dorchester Reporter, and the Boston Foundation.


Taylor Dolven can be reached at taylor.dolven@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @taydolven.