The Power of Competition at the T

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on
LinkedIn
+

In 2015, right after record-setting snowfall shut down the region’s transit system, Pioneer developed governance and reform proposals to put the MBTA on a stronger fiscal footing. One of our reports concerned The Ride, the regional paratransit system for customers with disabilities, showing that:

  1. The Ride’s budget was out of control and procured through contracts that needed to be revisited, as the T was locked into an outdated, expensive, and unsatisfactory system.
  2. For the majority of The Ride’s customers, the services could be provided by taxicab and ridesharing companies at a fraction of the cost and at a higher quality of service.

Since then, the MBTA has launched an on-demand pilot program that uses these new vendors to provide paratransit services to hundreds of riders, and yesterday the authority announced the 10,000th trip delivered through the pilot. While the rest of The Ride continues to barrel ahead with ever increasing costs, the pilot has given us a glimpse of the power of competition to improve people’s lives and dramatically reduce the cost of public services. Some highlights:

  • Customer satisfaction is so high that the number of trips has increased by more than 25 percent;
  • Customers save an average of 34 minutes per trip, and can schedule a trip in 5 minutes rather than the usual day in advance;
  • The overall cost to the MBTA has decreased despite the fact the authority is providing more trips. Why? The cost per trip has been cut to less than a third of what it was (from $31 per ride to just $9).

Yesterday, the Governor and the Chief Administrator announced that the pilot will be extended to all users of The Ride. This is an effective way to improve service, lower costs, and save taxpayers money. That’s great news for the T and even better news for users of The Ride.

Get Our Fix the T Updates!

Recent posts:

Study: “Pacheco Law” Has Cost MBTA At Least $450 Million Since 1997

Report presented to legislative leaders and state budget conferees…

Final, Binding Arbitration Major Obstacle to MBTA Accountability & Performance

Uniquely unaccountable arbitration at MBTA, if unchanged, will…

New Report Outlines Massachusetts’ Experience with State Receiverships

Proposes legislation for MBTA emergency control board BOSTON…

The Pioneer Institute’s Statement on the MBTA

/
The MBTA is broke and broken.  It is structurally insolvent. …

Study: MBTA Retirement Fund Failings a Cautionary Tale

Study Finds Poor Governance Structure, Lack of Accountability…

Study Calls for MBTA Employees to Be Transferred to State Pension System

Despite claims to the contrary, overly generous benefits, early…

Let’s Guard Public Safety: Letter to MassDOT Secretary Davey

/
Pioneer Institute is committed to improving the quality of life…

New Report: Massachusetts’ Tech Tax an Unnecessary Detour

Report Finds Revenue Not Only Option for Plugging Transportation…

Have the T’s Retirement Plans Gone Off the Rails?

Study Finds Financial Condition of MBTA Retirement Plan Deteriorated…

The MBTA’s Out-of-Control Bus Maintenance Costs

Pioneer Institute Study Highlights Overspending on MBTA Bus Maintenance A new…

New Report: Runaway Transportation Costs

/
Pioneer's new research director (former state Inspector General)…

Driving Reform: New Study on Real Solutions to Our Transportation Challenges

STUDY: TIE NEW FUNDING TO PERFORMANCE, IMPLEMENTATION OF TRANSPORTATION…

The Pioneer Plan for Massachusetts’ Transportation Needs

/
Expect more on the Pioneer Plan for Transportation in the coming…

Public Statement: We Must Address Serious Transportation Needs In Massachusetts, But the Governor’s Proposal Is Not Serious

/
Pioneer Institute Public Statement from Executive Director Jim Stergios on transportation needs in Massachusetts, and the Governor's recently released proposal.

Pioneer and Northeastern Present State Transportation Scorecard

Use Pioneer's Transportation Dashboard, an online, interactive application designed to model a performance measurement system that could be deployed by the state’s Department of Transportation. It features an array of publicly-available data in an easy-to-digest format, and includes the latest information on key indicators of performance such as congestion, throughput, safety, construction management, and environmental stewardship.