Tracker 2018

Transit Performance

Customer Experience

Photo credit: Cape Ann Transit Authority

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Percentage of Scheduled Trips Operated

Just because a trip is scheduled does not guarantee that it will actually occur. The percent of scheduled trips operated directly impacts the perceived and real reliability of a system. In FY18, each Massachusetts RTA operated between 98.2% and 100% of regularly scheduled bus trips.

Please note that services of the Lowell RTA were highly impacted by multiple severe winter storms in March.

Explore the map and chart below to see data by RTA.

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%.

Safety

Photo Credit: Martha’s Vineyard Transit Authority

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Injuries and Accidents

RTAs vary in the number of passengers they carry and the number of trips that they enable. In order to facilitate meaningful comparisons between RTAs, the injury rate is normalized per 100,000 unlinked passenger trips (UPT), and is aggregated to a 5-year rolling average in order to correct for small-sample events.

The same normalization was applied to the reported preventable accidents by RTA, but due to limited data, a 3-year rolling average is used.

Click the map and charts below to explore injuries and accidents for fixed-route bus and paratransit service in each RTA. Please note that maps and charts are not linked.

All Injuries as a Result of Transit Accidents (per 100,000 unlinked passenger trips) — paratransit

From FY13 to FY17, the RTAs had a rate between 0 and 2.36 injuries per 100,000 UPT on paratransit services.

All Injuries as a Result of Transit Accidents (per 100,000 unlinked passenger trips) — Fixed Route

From FY13 to FY17, the RTAs had a rate of between 0.09 and 0.95 injuries per 100,000 UPT on fixed route services.

All transit injuries represents the annual number of injuries that resulted from unintentional contact with transit vehicles or property. An injury is recorded for each person who either received medical attention on the premises, or was transported away to receive medical care. These are reported for each RTA for each fiscal year and normalized per 100,000 unlinked passenger trips (UPT).

Preventable accidents (per 100,000 unlinked passenger trips) —paratransit

From FY16 to FY18, the rate of preventable accidents on paratransit services ranged from 0 to 27.35 per 100,000 UPT.

Preventable accidents (per 100,000 unlinked passenger trips) —fixed routes

From FY16 to FY18, the rate of preventable accidents on fixed route services ranged from 0.1 per 100,000 UPT to 3.8 per 100,000 UPT.

Preventable accidents are defined as those accidents in which the transit driver is normally deemed responsible or partly responsible for the occurrence of the accident. These are reported for each RTA for each fiscal year and normalized per 100,000 unlinked passenger trips (UPT). Data are shown here for the three year periods FY14-16, FY15-17 and FY16-18. Fiscal years 17 and 18 have not yet gone through auditing by the NTD.

System Condition

Photo Credit: Berkshire Regional Transit Authority

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RTA Assets

Modern and well-functioning equipment allow RTAs to provide efficient, comfortable, and safe transit services to its passengers. The measures in this section describe the age and condition of RTA vehicles and facilities.

Click the map below to explore the performance of each RTA.

 

Fleet age

RTA fleets are within their useful life. In FY18, the RTAs had average fleet ages of between 4.3 and 9.0 years old for fixed-route buses, and between 1.8 and 6.1 years old for paratransit vehicles. The average useful life of a single fixed-route bus in a fleet is 10 to 12 years; the average useful life of a single paratransit van in a fleet is 5 to 7 years.

Vehicle condition

Vehicle condition varies widely both between and within RTAs. In FY18, the RTAs had average vehicle condition scores of between 1.8 and 4.9 for fixed-route buses, and between 2.7 and 4.8 for paratransit vehicles.

Facility condition

Most RTAs are responsible for a small number of facilities, usually bus garages. In FY18, RTA facilities were in generally good condition - scores ranged between 3.0 and 4.8.

Vehicle and facility conditions are assessed using a standardized scale ranging from 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent) which reflects the age of the vehicle or facility, its current operating condition, and the quality of maintenance it has received. In this rating system, 1 is poor, 3 is average and 5 is excellent condition.

Vehicle fleet age is calculated by averaging the age (as measured from the first day the vehicle was in service) of all the vehicles in revenue service for a particular agency. The ideal age for a fleet is at the midpoint of its useful life, which would show a planned approach to vehicle replacement and rehabilitation.

Budget & Capital Performance

Photo Credit: Berkshire Regional Transit Authority

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These measures describe the efficiency with which RTAs allocate operating expenses. Operating expenses are the ongoing costs of operating a transit agency, including (but not limited to) wages and benefits, maintenance costs, and fuel.

Data was obtained from the National Transit Database (NTD) which includes federally audited data through FY16.

Operating Expense - paratransit

For paratransit services, the operating expense per revenue mile of service ranged from $2.89 to $6.52 per mile between the 12 RTAs that are required to report these data. Compared to FY15, this was an efficiency improvement for 9 of the 12 RTAs.

Operating expense - Fixed route

For fixed route services, the operating expense per revenue mile of service ranged from $4.02 to $9.50 per mile between the 12 RTAs that are required to report this data. Compared to FY15, this was an efficiency improvement for 6 of the 12 RTAs.

 

Operating expense per vehicle revenue mile describes how expensive it was for an RTA to operate a bus or van for one mile of revenue service. Revenue service includes trips that accept passengers and excludes “deadhead” trips, for example, moving a vehicle back to the garage after the last trip of the day. Smaller values indicate more efficient performance.

Fare Recovery Ratio - Paratransit

In FY16, revenue from fares covered between 2.9% and 67.1% of paratransit operating expenses at the 12 RTAs required to report these data. This was an improvement for 8 RTAs, a decline for 3 RTAs, and essentially no change for one.

 

Fare recovery ratio - Fixed Route

In FY16, revenue from fares covered between 8.4% and 23.8% of fixed route operating expenses at the 12 RTAs that are required to report these data. This was an improvement for 6 RTAs, a decline for 5 RTAs, and essentially no change for one.

 

Farebox recovery is the ratio of the agency’s revenue from fares and passes to operating expenses. It shows how much of the agency’s operating budget is covered by fares, and, inversely, how much is covered by other sources (tax assessments, federal grants, etc.).

Sustainable Transportation

Photo Credit: Berkshire Regional Transit Authority

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Annual Ridership

Click the maps and charts below to explore annual ridership across RTAs for paratransit service and fixed-route bus service.

Please note the maps and charts are not linked.

Paratransit ridership

RTAs in Massachusetts provided a total of 2.45 million trips on paratransit services in FY18, a 0.3% drop in ridership from FY17 and a 14% increase since FY12.

Fixed-Route Ridership

RTAs in Massachusetts provided 27.9 million unlinked passenger trips in FY18. This is a drop of 4.9% from FY17 and the lowest level of ridership since at least FY12. Transit ridership across the country saw similar declines, especially on buses.

Ridership on CapeFLYER

CapeFLYER provides passenger rail service between Boston and Hyannis on weekends between Memorial Day and Labor Day; it is a cooperative effort between CCRTA, MassDOT, and the MBTA. CapeFLYER reports ridership on a calendar year basis to match its seasonal service. Ridership on CapeFLYER increased by 226, or 2%, between 2017 and 2018.

 

Percentage of MA Residents with Access to Transit

The below map shows the population of Massachusetts overlaid with fixed-route transit coverage. At the end of FY18, the 15 RTAs and all MBTA fixed route service combined to provide 52.4% of Massachusetts residents with access to transit service, or about 3.5 million out of 6.7 million residents.

This measure is the proportion of the State’s population who lives within one-half mile of transit service. It represents one measure of accessibility to transit service statewide. Calculations are based on walking distances from transit stops that one or more agencies served at the end of FY18 with population data from 2013-2017 American Community Survey 5-year estimates.

 
 
 
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