Key to the MBTA’s Sustainability program is the ways and degrees to which the MBTA uses its resources and talented workforce to contribute to the overall social health and well being of the communities in which we serve. As part of the MBTA’s Sustainability program, the MBTA seeks to do more than to move people, but to become a part of the communities that we serve and to enhance their well-being. The MBTA continually works with our host communities to help them meet their sustainability objectives.


 Emergency Training Center

 Emergency Training for the Safety of the Community

Community 7.2014 AIn June 2013, the MBTA officially opened the new Emergency Training Center. The center is a state of-the-art public transit emergency training facility constructed in the former streetcar tunnels adjacent to the current MBTA Broadway station in South Boston. It provides advanced training, exercise, and simulation capabilities in a realistic tunnel environment.

The Emergency Training Center consists of multiple training areas, each dedicated to different transit modes. Community 7.2014 BDecommissioned and now fully restored Green Line car, Blue Line subway car and a bus are position in place in a station setting along with a control room that can simulate advanced audio and visual effects to create realistic situations for training. A demonstration of a loud boom and smoke pouring out of a subway car with screams all around creates a haunting but realistic scene.

“Our customers and employees’ safety is our number one priority at the MBTA,” said MBTA General Manager Dr. Beverly Scott. “This facility will not only train our Transit Police and other first responders, but our front line employees as well, who are crucial to keeping customers informed and calm in a potential emergency.” 

Last year, the MBTA began testing new Department of Homeland Security-funded sensors designed to identify biological materials in the subway air. The exercises were held with the Environmental Protection Agency, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, the MBTA Transit Police, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, Boston Police, Boston Fire/Hazmat and the MBTA.

“These types of exercises are vitally important as we continue to ensure the safety and security of the riding public,” MBTA Transit Police Chief MacMillan said in a statement. “This training facility was designed for this purpose so service would not have to be disrupted and our customers inconvenienced.”

 Community 7.2014 C Community 7.2014 D

Farmers Markets

The MBTA has worked with local community Farmer’s Markets to promote and facilitate their events in a number of ways. The MBTA has assisted the markets either by providing space for the market, free parking, or the markets are strategically located near a public transit stop.

Farmers Markets have become an integral part of Saturday mornings in over 250 communities in Massachusetts, including over 50 such markets within the Route 128 loop. Needless to say, the more urban the location, the more difficult it is to find a location to hold the market or parking space.

For decades the MBTA has provided parking for customers on Saturday at Haymarket in downtown Boston. This past year Roslindale Village Farmers Market held its 28th season. The market is open rain or shine every Saturday during a 26-week season beginning on June 1st. The MBTA provides free parking at the MBTA parking lot at South Street and Belgrade Avenue.


The MBTA appreciates the need for farmers markets and the advantage for both customers and farmers. The farmers appreciate the extra revenue at retail prices, and the customers get fresh food and a more healthy diet. Working with Farmer’s Markets is another way the MBTA can be more sustainable with existing resources.