Nearly a decade ago, Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Company assumed responsibility for the MBTA commuter rail system. Following a rigorous bidding process, MBCR earned the right to operate and maintain a critical regional transportation service.
Since then, MBCR has proudly partnered with the MBTA to provide the highest possible level of safe, reliable service amid ongoing challenges involving limited financial resources, aged equipment, and fragile infrastructure. Our deeply experienced consortium, composed of three global leaders in the rail transportation sector, has worked with the T to increase levels of service to Worcester, Providence, and other areas of the state and to make continual improvements to infrastructure. Over the years, we collaborated with the T to introduce customer-driven initiatives such as quiet cars, free WiFi service, and mobile ticketing. We vastly improved air conditioning on coaches and winter preparation. Based on factors within our control, on-time performance has met or exceeded a 95 percent contractual goal for the past four years and eight of the past 10.
Unfortunately, Joan Vennochi’s Jan. 10 op-ed column “Rail company has inside track at T” ignored this record of accomplishment while promoting false assumptions.
In fact, MBCR is fined under the contract for trains delayed by a breakdown of equipment or failure of infrastructure. MBCR has never “ducked” fines or its responsibility to the Commonwealth. Equally important, the MBTA commuter rail contract will not be decided on political connections. After bidders submit hundreds of pages filled with detailed information in sealed files, the MBTA’s evaluation committee will make a recommendation and the MBTA’s board of directors will vote based on numerous technical and financial qualifications. The quality of our proposal will determine whether or not we continue to operate commuter rail.