MBTA Union Disputes Claim Armored Vehicles Had ‘Sunroofs’

Audit noted 'sunroofs' on list of issues with the T's money room.

Bright sun with beautiful beams in a blue sky with light clouds. Much space for copy.

Photo via iStock.com/Viorika

Update, July 22, 7:29 p.m.: The Boston Globe reports MBTA union leaders are disputing the claim that sunroofs had been cut into armored vehicles used to transport money.

“These trucks have the exact same roofs from when they were purchased two decades ago,” Boston Carmen’s Union president James O’Brien said in a statement to the Globe. “This baseless allegation is proof that this Administration will do anything to try to justify privatization.”

Original story: 


The MBTA’s money room took another blow to its reputation this week after Gov. Charlie Baker mentioned in a speech Wednesday that cash-carrying vehicles had been retrofitted with…sunroofs. How luxurious!

“Someone cut sunroofs into two of the armored trucks used by the T to transport money,” Baker said at a press conference, according to the State House News Service. He had been reflecting on the one-year anniversary of the launch of the T’s new Fiscal and Management Control Board.

There was little else to glean from the press conference about the, shall we say, creative addition to sensitive government property, because Baker just went right along with the rest of his observations about the T and beating the drum for privatizing parts of the nearly-all-union MBTA workforce.

In an email, T spokesman Jason Johnson clarified in an email that two of the money room’s trucks had been altered, and that the sunroofs have since been replaced:

During the course of looking at how money moves through the MBTA system, it was discovered that “sunroofs” had been installed on the roofs of each of two armored vehicles used to transport money. It was decided the “fix” would be to remove the fiberglass and replace the fiberglass with metal plates in order to better secure the cargo.   

But before you start picturing money room employees taking leisurely trips around town, sunlight beaming down on their heads, take a peek at what the “sunroofs” actually look like.

Photos of the sunroofs appear to show rectangular strips of translucent material installed near one of the truck’s walls.

Boston has asked the T for more details about the sunroofs—their size, location, and what kind of purpose they might have served (is it really dark back there in the truck’s cargo area?)—and will update when we learn more.

Either way, it’s yet another blow to the embattled money room, which underwent an audit this year that found, among other things, duct-taped doors, keys strewn about willy nilly, and a grill pit.

MBTA union leader James O’Brien has opposed privatization efforts and told the Globe last month that “Transit workers are being unfairly blamed for management’s failures.”