Recognizing the need to develop a statewide Public Transit Investment Strategy, the 15 Regional Transit Authorities of Massachusetts were given a unique opportunity to identify and present to their stakeholders, Legislators and constituents, measurable transit service goals to guide future investments in the RTA program in Massachusetts. The plan was designed to look at service and demographic trends, to highlight where funding limitations have required changes in existing services as well as impeding growth to new markets, as well as to review capital investments in fleets and facilities and how they need to be addressed.
The study included a multiyear strategy to maximize transit investment needs, both capital and operating, for the MARTA program, and its member RTA’s. Work included a review of current level of services and investment, as well as a needs analysis, specifically, an analysis of the gap that exists between what is provided, and might be expected to be provided, based on factors such as population and employment density and per capita investments, and a demographic analysis for each RTA region.
As part of the study, a detailed understanding of each transit authority’s operations and financial and capital resources was developed, along with an implementable investment strategy to fulfill the capital and operating needs identified. The plan also provided baseline minimum service level policies for the urban, rural and seasonal transit authorities, and provided guidance on service investments.
The results of this study provided an important tool to the RTA’s and to the policy makers, as the stakeholders considered how best to expand both the service and revenue base, while ensuring the best use of available resources in the current delivery of service.