Norfolk state rep wants details from MBTA on Chinese-built trains
NORFOLK — State Rep. Shawn Dooley is demanding to know if the parts for MBTA trains being assembled in Springfield are actually being built by low-wage workers in China.
Dooley, R-Norfolk, has been pressing the MBTA over various aspects of its contract with Chinese manufacturer China Railway and Rolling Stock, which has a contract to build trains for the Orange Line.
Dooley sent a letter to the MBTA Thursday asking for details of the contract.
He wants to know if the trains are truly being built in Springfield, or if parts made in China are just being assembled there.
It would be “disingenuous” to claim they are being built in Springfield if they are only being assembled there, he said.
The representative is also asking how many Massachusetts residents are employed at the Springfield plant as opposed to people brought in from China.
Previously, Dooley raised concerns about cybersecurity related to the Chinese-built trains.
He asked if they would be used to collect communications on Americans and whether China would have the ability to shut down the trains during a crisis.
Dooley has filed a bill banning further contracts with companies from countries that have “non-market economies.”
“The experts have spoken on this issue” Dooley said in a press release. “Our critical infrastructure is a proven opportunity for bad state actors to embed harmful technology, including various forms of spyware and malware, that can give them the ability to hack into our systems.
“The MBTA has assured us that we do not need to worry as CRRC is simply the cheapest option, and they are manufacturing the cars here using American parts and American jobs.
“I hope they are right, but they have not provided any information to back this claim up. The citizens of Massachusetts deserve to know that they are safe and that our state government is doing all it can to protect them.”
The MBTA acknowledged receiving the letter from Dooley and would be getting back to him with a response.
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