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WTS-Boston joins New England ITE for Tour of the MBTA’s Emergency Training Center

March 21, 2016 02:06 PM

By Alexandra Kleyman, AICP, Boston Region MPO

Photos by Sarah Deschaine, WSP|Parsons Brinckerhoff 


On February 18th, a group of members of WTS-Boston and the New England Section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (NEITE) got together for a joint event to tour the MBTA’s Emergency Training Center (ETC).

Opened in the summer of 2013, the ETC is a state-of-the-art public transit emergency training facility. The center was constructed in the former streetcar tunnels adjacent to the current Broadway Station in South Boston. Because of its location in the tunnels, the ETC provides an extremely realistic environment for advanced emergency response training for several different transit modes. Decommissioned and now fully restored Green Line cars, Blue Line subway cars and a bus are 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 including loud “booms,” screams, and smoke. Numerous agencies and departments have used the ETC for training including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, Boston Police Department, and Boston Fire Department.

We can now tell you, from first-hand experience, that walking around in an actual tunnel and getting an inside view of the MBTA provides amazing insight as transportation professionals as well as interested citizens and MBTA customers.

Following the tour, the group went to Coppersmith Restaurant, also in South Boston, for an informal networking hour. With a small group, we were able to sit around one table and get to know each other. The event reinforced the benefit and importance of forming relationships with professionals in our industry within WTS as well as other professional organizations so we can share our experiences and knowledge and continue to grow our networks. Keep your eyes open for another joint event to expand your network and professional development!








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