What is the Rail & Transit Division?

The Rail and Transit Division provides oversight and manages funding for all 15 Regional Transit Authorities (RTAs), offers several competitive grant programs, and manages freight, passenger, and seasonal rail lines across the state. The competitive grant programs offered by MassDOT include: the Community Transit Grant Program, which provides funding for lift-equipped accessible vehicles and technical assistance; and the Intercity Bus Program, which awards subsidy to intercity bus providers operating routes in rural regions in MA. MassDOT owns 14 rail lines (totaling 285 miles of track), 165 bridges, 747 culverts, 314 at-grade crossings, and 12 rail yards, working cooperatively with Amtrak Read More

MassDOT Transit Performance

Regional Transit Performance The transit section shares data on the 15 RTAs. RTAs in Massachusetts operate two main types of service: Bus service, which includes regularly scheduled local routes and commuter routes which operate on fixed schedules (referred to as “fixed route” throughout this report); and Demand-response service, which includes federally mandated paratransit service and other dial-a-ride services, whether provided through dedicated transit vehicles or taxi vouchers. This service will be referred to as “paratransit” throughout the rest of this report. In fall 2018, MassDOT and the RTAs took part in a Task Force on Regional Transit Authority Performance and Read More

RTA Safety

Operating public transit safely is of the utmost importance to every transit agency. Information on injuries and accidents is collected by the RTAs and reported to both the FTA and MassDOT and monitored by these agencies. This section includes the measures and targets of the 12 RTAs deemed full reporters by the FTA. Three RTAs (FRTA, NRTA, and VTA) have different reporting requirements are not included here. On July 19, 2018, FTA published the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan (PTASP) Final Rule, which requires certain operators of public transportation systems that receive federal funds under FTA’s Urbanized Area Formula Grants to develop safety plans that include Read More

RTA Customer Experience

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. Percentage of Fixed Route Scheduled Trips Operated The percent of scheduled trips operated refers to how reliably 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 Read More

RTA System Condition

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 Plans. As of publication, asset management data from GATRA and MeVa is outstanding. Percent of revenue vehicles that have Read More

RTA Budget & Capital Performance

RTAs greatly vary in the size of the service area they serve and the number of riders they have, leading to varying operating expenses and fare revenues. This section attempts to capture how each RTA performed in terms of their operating costs and how much fare revenue covered said operating costs. Operating Expenses Operating expense describes the cost for an RTA to operate a bus or van. Operating expenses can further be contextualized by looking at vehicle revenue miles (VRM) or vehicle revenue hours (VRH), which show what is the cost of “running” a mile or hour of revenue service. Read More

RTA Healthy & Sustainable Transportation

Ridership on the RTAs is measured as Unlinked Passenger Trips (UPT), which count each boarding of a transit vehicle as one trip. Transfer trips which involve more than one bus count as separate UPTs. Read More