RTA System Condition

Photo Credit: MassDOT

Modern and well-functioning vehicles and equipment enable RTAs to provide efficient, comfortable, and safe transit services to its passengers. The FTA requires all transit agencies to develop a transit asset management (TAM) plan that outlines how an agency plans to address asset management policy and goals, provides visibility, and supports planning, budgeting, and communications with interested parties. The measures in this section describe the age and condition of RTA vehicles and facilities relative to targets set by them in their TAM Plan for FY20.

Percent of revenue vehicles that have met or exceeded their useful life benchmark

FTA guidelines for useful life benchmarks for revenue vehicles are set at 12 years for articulated bus and bus, 10 years for minibus, 7 years for cutaway bus, 4 years for minivan, and 13 for trolleybus.

Each RTA sets a target for each type of its revenue vehicles that indicates the proportion of those vehicles that may be at or beyond their useful life benchmark. For example, an agency that operates both buses and vans in revenue service may have different targets for proportion of buses and vans that may be at or above the applicable useful life benchmarks. Of the 15 reporting RTAs, six have met all of the revenue vehicle targets relative to useful life benchmarks.

The RTAs that did not meet their revenue vehicle targets:

  • Berkshire Regional Transit Authority (BRTA) met its target for buses (FY20 target of 46.16% of buses expected to be at or above useful life benchmark, with actual performance at 45.15) and minivans (target 0% and performance 0%), but failed to meet its target for cutaway buses (target 29.63%, performance 44.44%).
  • Brockton Area Transit Authority (BAT) met its target for buses (FY20 target of 5%, actual performance of 2.17%) and vans (20% target, 17.24% performance), but failed to meet its target for cutaway buses (100% are at or above useful life benchmark compared to the target of 50%).
  • Cape Ann Transit Authority (CATA) met its target for buses (25% target and performance) but failed to meet its target for cutaway buses (0% target, 33.33% performance).
  • Greater Attleboro-Taunton Regional Transit Authority (GATRA) failed to meet its targets for all three of its revenue vehicle types (buses, cutaway buses, and minivans), although it only missed the buses and cutaway buses targets by 1.75% each.
  • Montachusett Regional Transit Authority (MART) met its targets for buses and cutaway buses but failed to meet its targets for vans (22.22% target, 41.67% performance).
  • Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority (MVRTA) met its target for over-the-road buses (33.33% target and performance) but failed to meet its target for buses (0% target, 16.07% performance).
  • Southeastern Regional Transit Authority (SRTA) failed to meet its target for buses (25% target, 48.44% performance) and cutaways (25% target, 80.65% performance).
  • Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA) met its targets for buses (21.15% target and performance) and minivans (0% target and performance) but failed to meet its target for cutaway buses (15.79% target, 19.67% performance).

Percent of service (non-revenue) vehicles that have met or exceeded their useful life benchmark

FTA guidelines for useful life benchmarks for non-revenue vehicles are set at 8 years for automobiles and 10 years for trucks and other rubber tire vehicles. Most RTAs have both automobiles and trucks in their non-revenue service fleet.

Five of the fifteen reporting RTAs met their targets for all service vehicles (BAT, CCRTA, VTA, MWRTA, and NRTA). Three agencies (BRTA, CATA and FRTA under the MassDOT Group Plan) failed to meet their targets for all service vehicles. The other seven met either their automobile targets or their truck targets but not both.

Percent of facilities rated below 3 on the condition scale

Facility conditions are assessed using a standardized scale ranging from 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent) which reflects the age of the facility, its current operating condition, and the quality of maintenance it has received.

Most RTAs are responsible for a small number of facilities, usually bus garages and administration buildings. In FY20, most facilities were in generally good condition (very few RTAs registered targets or performance different from 0% of facilities below 3 on the condition scale), and all targets were met or exceeded.