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Emergency Instructions

Emergency Instructions Image

Emergencies happen when you least expect them. That's why it's important to be ready. Wherever you are, it helps to have a plan so that whatever happens, you'll be prepared. The information presented here, created through a partnership with the MBTA, the American Red Cross of Massachusetts Bay, the Federal Transit Administration, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, can help you do just that.

Prepare for the Unexpected

These highly visible emergency instruction signs are posted in all stations and vehicles. Click on the following links to view the emergency instructions that affects your commute on the MBTA Transit System.

Subway Emergency Instructions
Commuter Rail Emergency Instructions
Bus Emergency Instructions 
Station Platform Emergency Instructions
Boat Emergency Instructions 

Some of the most important safety instructions to follow as you ride the MBTA can be found below:

Always Box  Please remain calm, listen to and follow instructions provided by MBTA employees. If a passenger is in distress, please notify the Transit Police or a uniformed MBTA employee.
Fire Box  If you see smoke or suspect a fire, please notify the Transit Police or a uniformed MBTA employee. If you see or hear a fire alarm, please remain calm and proceed to your nearest exit.
Medical Box   If you are medically qualified and able to assist, please identify yourself to the Transit Police, a uniformed MBTA employee or station official.
Badge Box  Notify the Transit Police or a uniformed MBTA employee of any unattended packages or suspicious activity. Please do not move unattended packages. The Transit Police can be reached at (617) 222-1212.
Evacuate Box  Take a moment to familiarize yourself with all exits. If there is a need to evacuate, we ask that you please use the stairs. Please remember to assist disabled or elderly passengers.

Contact Information

- Plan how your family will stay in contact if separated by an emergency.
- Make sure people close to you know how to reach you and vice versa.
- Write down your information on this brochure, and keep the information current. You should keep it with you at all times.
- Designate an out-of-town friend to be the contact point for your family. In an emergency, it may be easier to call long distance as local phone lines may become overloaded.

Meeting Place

- Identify a location outside your neighborhood where your family can meet if your home is affected or the area is evacuated.

Alternate Modes of Travel

- Take time now to learn alternate routes and ways to get where you need to go. Since there are often multiple ways to reach a destination via MBTA, visit to view timetables and system maps.
- Keep a local map with you in case you need to walk or take another form of transportation.


- If there's an emergency, check for current information about service changes and station closings, or call (617) 222-3200, TDD (617) 222-5146.
- For more information on how to prepare your family, home, and business for emergencies, visit the American Red Cross of Massachusetts Bay at and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security at

Emergency Information

MBTA Transit Police Emergency
(617) 222-1212

MBTA Information
(617) 222-3200

American Red Cross of Massachusetts Bay
(617) 375-0700 

For a pdf version of this safety information, please click here.

MBTA Transit Police Department 
240 Southampton Street
Boston, MA 02118

Office of the Chief:
Deaf or Hard of Hearing: 
617-222-1200 TTY
National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) check current status

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