MBTA celebrates new class of heavy rail motorpersons

April 2, 2024
The comprehensive training included classroom instruction, hands-on experience and extensive safety protocols, ensuring that each graduate is well-equipped to handle the demands of the job.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is celebrating the success of its efforts to increase enrollment in the MBTA Training School where a class size of 23 motorpersons in training is now standard. The training classes are part ongoing efforts to maintain reliability and provide consistent Red, Orange and Blue Line service.  

“The skills and expertise that these motorpersons have gained at the Training School will contribute to the MBTA’s mission of providing safe and reliable service. We can see from their enthusiasm that they embrace public service and they’re excited to be part of our team,” said MBTA General Manager and CEO Phillip Eng. “From day one, the Healey-Driscoll Administration has made rebuilding our workforce a priority and thanks to the governor’s leadership, we are more competitive and the results are telling. We’re attracting talented individuals like these graduates who are now providing quality service to our riders.”

Of the 23 motorpersons recently hired, as of March 27, 2024, 20 in total will have graduated from the MBTA’s Training School. The class of graduates joined a cohort of 23 motorpersons in training in October 2023 that resulted in 19 new heavy rail motorpersons.

This graduating class of trained professionals successfully completed the training school’s rigorous program that prepared them to operate the MBTA's heavy rail system - consisting of Red, Orange and Blue line vehicles - safely and efficiently. The comprehensive training included classroom instruction, hands-on experience and extensive safety protocols, ensuring that each graduate is well-equipped to handle the demands of the job.

“There’s nothing more rewarding than getting people to where they have to go,” said MBTA Chief Operating Officer Ryan Coholan. “They've tackled rigorous training, gaining the technical skills and knowledge needed to safely navigate our network. Their dedication and focus will be instrumental in keeping our system running smoothly and efficiently.”

Hands-on training helped to prepare motorperson graduates with the skills necessary for safe and efficient operation, which included yard familiarization training  where they learned how to interpret track signals and maneuver rail vehicles safely. Additionally, trainees toured the carhouse and maintenance facility to gain a comprehensive understanding of train movement within the yard and how maintenance facilities prepare vehicles for passenger service. 

“I am happy I decided to work through my anxiety and the unknown,” said Motorperson Graduate and Canton, Mass., resident Taisha Tyler. “My instructors were nothing short of amazing. They were informative, knowledgeable and personable. They made me feel at ease and welcomed all of my many questions. I cannot thank them enough for all their time, expertise and laughs experienced while in my heavy rail instruction training.” 

The MBTA’s overall efforts to continue to rebuild its workforce are focused on diversity, recruitment, retention, skills training and leadership development to cultivate the workforce needed to operate and maintain a modern transportation system. The MBTA has invested in restructuring the senior leadership team; improving frontline teams, safety protocols, engineering and planning and workforce development and training to ensure employees can effectively fulfill their responsibilities. 

“Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of the MBTA family,” said Motorperson Graduate and Quincy, Mass., resident Tammy Morissaint. “I’m very grateful that I’ve had some awesome instructors who went above and beyond to teach us. I look forward to applying everything that I’ve learned to the advancement of the MBTA.”