Monday, February 27, 2017

Governor Baker, MBTA to Celebrate 10,000 Rides in Paratransit Pilot Program

Governor Baker, MBTA to Celebrate 10,000 Rides in Paratransit Pilot Program with Uber, Lyft
Will announce future of innovative partnership delivering RIDE customers on-demand service

BOSTON  On Feb. 28th in Charlestown, Governor Charlie Baker and MBTA Acting General Manager Brian Shortsleeve will celebrate the 10,000th ride provided by the MBTA’s The RIDE On-Demand Paratransit Pilot Program with ride-share companies Uber and Lyft, and make an announcement regarding the program’s future. The pilot is delivering on-demand service for approximately 400 individuals with disabilities and providing reduced fares, lower wait times and faster trips.

Governor Baker, Acting General Manager Shortsleeve and executives from Uber and Lyft will welcome pilot customer Joshua Boissoneau to celebrate the 10,000th ride. Boissoneau, who travels frequently to medical appointments and remains an active para-rower, has used the pilot since its launch to travel to and from rowing practice along the Charles River in Brighton and to his place of work at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Charlestown.

Last September, Governor Baker visited the Perkins School for the Blind to launch the MBTA’s first-of-its-kind innovative pilot with Uber and Lyft. The pilot provides customers same-day booking compared to The RIDE’s day prior notice and has found MBTA trip subsidy differences of 71% ($31 for traditional RIDE service versus $9 for on-demand) with an average $4.38 cost to customers for a same-day, on-demand trip (same-day trips for The RIDE cost $5.25). Governor Baker highlighted the program’s ingenuity in his 2017 State of the Commonwealth Address last month, sharing the story of a pilot user and the benefits and flexibility the program has offered to customers.

This pilot is a part of a larger transformation of The RIDE to improve the customer experience and reduce the cost of service.  Other initiatives include centralizing its call and dispatch functions and soon offering a revamped taxi subsidy pilot program.

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