Past Present and Future

Focus40 is a twenty-five-year-old strategic vision for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). One of the key components of Focus 40 is the State of System series that entails a report for the various types of services that MBTA provides, for instance, rapid transit, paratransit, bus, commuter rail and ferry. The Focus40 included discourse on the different types of transportation projects, as well as, investment strategies and community benefits. The bus network that operates four essential services, that is, key bus routes, local, silver line and express across forty-four municipalities is a prominent component of the MBTA system as it accounts for approximately 30% of passenger trips. Another vital part of the MBTA system is the rapid transit network that entails the Blue Line, Green Line, Red Line, Orange Line, and Mattapan High-Speed Line. The rapid transit network provides transport services to close to 780,000 passengers on daily basis. One of the largest MBTA system projects is the Commuter rail system that comprises of fourteen commuter rail lines and serves fifty communities. Last but not least, the RIDE paratransit service is an MBTA transport project responsible for providing door-to-door and shared-ride transportation to eligible individuals who are incapable of using fixed-route transit due to cognitive, physical or mental disability. The last MBTA project is the ferry transportation system that caters for 3% of passenger trips under the MBTA service. Since Focus40 is a twenty-five-year plan, the project will solicit investment ideas and assess their ability to address the project’s current and future needs. Given that the financial requirements of the MBTA can be met within 25 years, Focus40 is looking to discern better how transit riders would make tradeoffs between discordant types of investments.

The presentations in the Focus40 meeting were quite detailed yet still simple for people to discern. Moreover, people who sought further information about the MBTA system projects were given links to the detailed reports accessible by everyone. The meeting also engaged the various audiences through productive questioning sessions, as well as, giving the citizens the chance to participate in some of the physical presentations in the meeting. The meeting was quite fulfilling, and the procedures did not require any alterations as they delivered their intended purpose efficiently.