Second MBTA Employee Allegedly Caught Sleeping on the Job

Both employees have been removed from service.

Images via Twitter

Images via Twitter

For the second time in as many weeks, an MBTA passenger snapped a photo of what appears to be a sleeping transit employee, and shared the image on social media.

Transit officials said they would look into why a female employee was allegedly taking a nap while on the clock at the T’s Oak Grove station along the Orange Line recently. The photo was posted on Friday, January 31, but may have been taken weeks prior. Regardless, the employee has been removed from service pending an investigation by her supervisor.

A photo of the employee, who was not identified by the MBTA, shows her slouching in a seat behind the plexi-glass of one of the kiosks set up at the station. “This photo was just brought to our attention,” according to MBTA Spokesman Joe Pesaturo. “The Orange Line Inspector, a seven-year employee, has been removed from service while an investigation takes place.”

This is the second time a rider recently caught a T employee with their eyes closed while at work. On January 27, a passenger snapped a picture of a 27-year veteran nodding off at his desk at a Park Street station booth.

“Is this what y’all raised fares for?,” the passenger said in the Tweet.

That worker is still on administrative leave pending an investigation for “the unprofessional conduct.” Before he can come back to work, a review will have to be conducted by his supervisors, according to a statement from the T.

This isn’t the first time an employee has been publicly outed by passengers that have caught them snoozing. In July of 2013, a Green Line operator was caught sleeping behind the wheel of a trolley. That rider posted a video of the incident online. 

In a different incident in 2012, it was a lack of sufficient rest that was to blame for a Green Line crash at Boylston Street that sent dozens of people to the hospital with injuries, and led to $500,000 in damages to two MBTA trolleys.

At the time of that accident—the employee was later let go—MBTA officials re-upped their program that teaches operators and inspectors how to get an adequate amount of sleep, and stay rested. The MBTA has an aggressive fatigue awareness program that employees must take, which highlights the importance of good sleep practices.

Pesaturo said in cases such as the ones reported this week, employees who fail to perform their duties are disciplined. “The Green Line employee, photographed at Park [Street] this week, is currently out of service and not being paid.  This disgraceful behavior is not only inexcusable, it’s a disservice to the vast majority of T employees who are working hard every day to help deliver safe and reliable services,” he said.