Mass Transit - 14

COMMUTER RAIL
short-term improvements along
with a longer-term strategy can
continue to make commuter
rail the option that passengers
want to choose to get [to] work,
school, doctor's appointments or
just the fun events around the
Boston area."
DiAdamo points to recent efforts where MBTA worked with
KCS to install dedicated staff to
oversee daily operations of specific commuter lines.
"We have recently worked
with our commuter rail contractor to institute 'line managers'
for each commuter rail line to
ensure that there is a single person whose daily focus is on the
performance of that specific line.
We piloted this initiative and have
now expanded it throughout the
network," said DiAdamo.
David Scorey, KCS general
manager and CEO, Commuter
Services, explains that Keolis took
a strategic approach to long-term
improvements to drive a series
of well thought out deployment
plans that covered all aspects of
commuter rail.
"We invest in leadership, we
invest in facilities and we invest in
the human element," said Scorey.
Those investments have resulted in a rise of KCS staffing
levels from under 2,000 employees in 2014 to 2,500 in 2019; the
establishment of the Emergency
Operations Center (EOC) and
simulation lab within the Railroad Operations Facility and a
concerted effort to implement
better digital solutions.
MBTA and KCS have also established a revenue/risk sharing
contract that, while a more common approach in Europe, was a
first for a transit system in the U.S.
"In 2017, Ernst & Young reviewed the Commuter Rail Operating Agreement and made
recommendations to incentivize
ridership and increase revenue,"
explained MBTA Assistant General Manager for Strategic Initiatives
Michael Muller. "The review found

14 |

Keolis Commuter Services

short- and long-term opportunities in the operating, commercial
and financial areas of the Operating Agreement and included
benchmarking against international peers; developing contracting alternatives and evaluating
relative merits of each; and recommending short-term actions the
MBTA could take to improve upon
the existing operating agreement.
The MBTA used Ernst & Young's
recommendations as a roadmap
for developing an agreement that
better aligns MBTA's and Keolis's
incentives to reduce fare evasion
and increase ridership. The agreement includes provisions for increased marketing and promotion
of commuter rail services, as well
as enhanced and expanded fare
collection efforts, including ticket verification checks at stations,
handheld devices for onboard
ticket sales and electronic fare
gates at North Station, South Station and Back Bay Station, which
will be installed in 2020."
Muller pointed to a recent
analysis that estimated MBTA
loses between $10 million and
$20 million in annual commuter
rail revenue through fare evasion
and fare non-collection. The international industry average for

Mass Transit | MassTransitmag.com | JULY/AUGUST 2019

THE MBTA
commuter rail
network has 14
lines that operate
over 400 miles of
track.

By The
Numbers
MBTA
Commuter
Rail System
400

route miles

14

lines

141

stations

35 million

annual passengers

86

locomotives

427

coaches

fare revenue "leakage" is three
percent, but MBTA's is four percent to eight percent in potential
commuter rail revenue lost.
"We recognize there is an opportunity for improved fare collection and revenue generation,"
added Muller. "Around 90 percent
of commuter rail journeys pass
through the three Boston hub
stations, so we expect fare gates
will significantly reduce ticketless
travel from the current level. Our
expectation is that the fare gates
will recover some, but not all, of
the estimated lost commuter rail
revenue because only the three
Boston terminal stations will be
gated. And we expect additional
revenue recovery with the implementation of AFC 2.0, when
there will be tap-in/tap-out fare
validators at all stations."
Scorey says KCS aims to reduce the level of fare leakage to
between two percent and three
percent, but notes the existing
ticketing systems, which were
largely cash only, did not lend to
high revenue retention. To help
combat this, the Revenue Growth
agreement required KCS to introduce technology that allows its
conductors to accept credit cards
using an app onboard trains.


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Mass Transit

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Mass Transit

Ad Index
Editor's Notebook
People & Places
A New Standard Shapes Commuter Rail in Boston
Connected Vehicles: Tampa
Beyond the Bus: Charge Management
Driven by Data
Making the Case for Standardization in MaaS
Best Practices
Products
Mass Transit - 1
Mass Transit - 2
Mass Transit - 3
Mass Transit - 4
Mass Transit - 5
Mass Transit - Ad Index
Mass Transit - 7
Mass Transit - Editor's Notebook
Mass Transit - 9
Mass Transit - People & Places
Mass Transit - 11
Mass Transit - A New Standard Shapes Commuter Rail in Boston
Mass Transit - 13
Mass Transit - 14
Mass Transit - 15
Mass Transit - 16
Mass Transit - 17
Mass Transit - 18
Mass Transit - 19
Mass Transit - Connected Vehicles: Tampa
Mass Transit - 21
Mass Transit - 22
Mass Transit - 23
Mass Transit - Beyond the Bus: Charge Management
Mass Transit - 25
Mass Transit - 26
Mass Transit - 27
Mass Transit - Driven by Data
Mass Transit - 29
Mass Transit - 30
Mass Transit - 31
Mass Transit - 32
Mass Transit - 33
Mass Transit - Making the Case for Standardization in MaaS
Mass Transit - 35
Mass Transit - Best Practices
Mass Transit - 37
Mass Transit - 38
Mass Transit - Products
Mass Transit - 40
Mass Transit - 41
Mass Transit - 42
Mass Transit - 43
Mass Transit - 44
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