The Department

Authority and Jurisdiction

Transit Police Jurisdiction

The MBTA operates a transit system that dates back to the Boston Elevated Company established in 1894. It is now compromised of 4 subway lines, 13 commuter rail lines, 5 passenger ferry routes and 162 bus routes, covering nearly 3,244 square miles and operating approximately 2,208 vehicles on a daily basis. This vast transportation network is responsible for an average of 1.3 million passenger trips every day, in a community with a daytime population of over two and a half million people.

The MBTA Transit Police Department is a civil service police department within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Chapter 644 of the Acts of 1968 provides the Transit Police with full police powers anywhere within the 175 cities and towns comprising the MBTA’s service district. Transit Police can make arrests, write citations, and enforce the law both on and off MBTA property.  While the MBTA Transit Police maintains primary jurisdiction on MBTA property and vehicles, a cooperative relationship is enjoyed among our many partner local law enforcement agencies of the cities and towns to provide effective police services to the MBTA. Transit Police Officers are responsible for:

- Protection of life and property;:
- Prevention and detection of crime;:
- Arrest, detention and prosecution of violators of the law;:
- Recovery of stolen property; and:
- Preservation of public peace.