Skip to main content

Cell Phone Ban Expanded

Posted on June 7, 2009

Following implementation of the recent ban on possession or use of cell phones (and other electronic devices) by bus, subway, and trolley operators, state transportation officials are pleased to announce further compliance by MBTA service contractors.  Effective immediately, MBTA contractors including Mass Bay Commuter Rail (MBCR), The RIDE para-transit service, and commuter boat and private bus contractors will comply with the directive issued to MBTA operators May 18th.

"Public safety and customer service must continue to be our number one priority and I'm thankful the MBTA's contractors are joining us in implementing a zero tolerance policy for cell phone use," said Transportatio Secretary James A. Aloisi Jr.

With the support of Governor Deval Patrick, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, the MBTA’s “zero tolerance” policy calls for immediate suspension and recommendation for dismissal for bus, train and subway operators caught using a cell phone, iPod or paging device while on duty. Under the new rules, drivers are prohibited from having such a device in their pocket or in a bag while on the job.

Appreciative of the overwhelming support from Governor Patrick’s Administration, and the recent agreement of MBTA contractors to comply with the new policy, the MBTA's General Manager said, “With assistance from the legislature and the recent agreement from T contractors to ban cell phones while on duty, we have added strength to a policy that will work to promote safety to both customers and employees.  Thank you to the legislature and to the T contractors for your support.”

The following MBTA contractors have adopted the T’s cell phone ban:

  • Mass Bay Commuter Rail (MBCR) – MBTA’s commuter rail operator.
  • THE RIDE  - the T’s paratransit program, which provides door – to – door transportation to eligible people who cannot use public transportation.  The following four contractors provide THE RIDE for MBTA customers.
    • Greater Lynn Senior Services, GLSS
    • Veterans Transportation LLC
    • Joint Venture of TTI and YCN
    • Kiessling Transit
  • Commuter Boat Service
    • Water Transportation Alternatives – Quincy/Hull to Boston
    • Boston Harbor Cruises – Boston to Hingham
  • Private Bus Companies
    • Paul Revere, JBL Bus Lines, Joseph Limousine and Transportation.

For several years, the MBTA has banned cell phone use by drivers while on the job, with penalties escalating from a three-day suspension after one offense, to a 10-day suspension after two, and dismissal for the third offense. Engineers on commuter-rail trains operated by a private contractor are also prohibited from having a cell phone or other device on their person.  Posted Reminder for T Operators 

More Information

Media Contact Information

For all queries and comments, please contact:

Joe Pesaturo