The performance of the RTAs is important to the safety of passengers as well as the economic well-being of the Commonwealth. This section presents information on each of the RTAs as reported to MassDOT.
RTA Service Areas
Percentage of Fixed Route Scheduled Trips Operated
The percent of scheduled trips operated refers to how reliably the buses in each RTA complete their scheduled routes. For example, if out of 100 scheduled fixed-route bus trips, one did not run at all, the percent of scheduled trips operated measure would be 99 percent.
The percent of scheduled trips operated directly impacts the perceived and actual reliability of a system. In FY20, each Massachusetts RTA operated between 95.4 percent and 100 percent of regularly scheduled bus trips.
This is a decline in the floor of service operated for all RTAs, as last fiscal year the lowest percentage was 96.1 percent. From last fiscal year to this, BRTA, CCRTA, FRTA, GATRA, and LRTA saw a decline in the percentage of scheduled trips operated (greater than one percent), while MVRTA, MWRTA, MART saw a minor decline in performance. BAT, VTA, NRTA, and WRTA saw improvements in the percentage of scheduled trips operated, with VTA showing the largest increase, from 96.1 percent to 98.8 percent.
The COVID-19 pandemic does not appear to have impacted this measure greatly as most transit agencies adjusted their regular schedules to account for the impacts of COVID-19.
On-time performance measures how reliable an RTA is in providing the service it promises to its passengers. Due to the measure development process, each RTA may have a slightly different definition of on-time performance.
On average, RTAs reported an on-time performance rate for their fixed-route service between 76 percent and 99 percent for FY20. Moreover, most RTAs maintained relatively reliable service, even at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On-time performance for fixed route transit improved for some RTAs. For example, MVRTA went from an average of 67 percent on time performance for Q2 to 80 percent in Q3 and 87 percent by Q4. Overall, eight RTAs were able to meet the targets they set for on-time performance for the fiscal year.
On average, RTAs reported an on-time performance rate for their paratransit service between 79 percent and 99 percent for FY20. Paratransit on-time performance followed similar trends as its fixed-service counterpart – for the most part, monthly on-time performance remained relatively consistent, with a slight average increase between Q2 and Q3. From Q1 to Q4, only NRTA suffered a severe drop in paratransit on-time performance, dropping from an average of 94 percent in Q1 to 33 percent in Q4. Nine RTAs met their paratransit service on time performance target.