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letters | with contract up, focus is on commuter rail

Don’t saddle rail contractor with mandate to raise ridership

Re “Give next T rail contractor a mandate to raise ridership” (Editorial, Oct. 25): The primary responsibility of the contractor hired by the MBTA to run its train operations should be just that — a supplier that can provide and maintain an efficient, safe, on-time, and cost-effective transportation network. Mandating the operator to grow ridership through increased advertising or relationships with developers takes away from its alleged core competency of operating a large, aging, and complex rail system.

A reliable train service, backed by clean and well-maintained equipment and infrastructure, employees who are motivated and well trained, appropriate parking, and overall T network integration, would not only provide an increased benefit to present riders; it would also bring new riders into the system.

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Value is the key to increased ridership, not mandates that pass the buck, and the inevitable blame, to the supplier for not getting new customers.

Richard G. Weissman


The writer is an assistant professor of operations and supply chain management at Endicott College in Beverly.

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