Thursday, January 07, 2010

MBTA operating company gets contract extension

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Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Co. (MBCR), the private company that operates Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) regional rail services, won a two-year contract extension Wednesday worth $559.7 million, while MBCR pledged to continue improving on service delivery.

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MBTA’s Board of Directors approved the contract extensionunanimously. State officials said they brought the contract to the board forapproval without putting it on the public agenda, despite voluminous complaints from riders over service quality, particularly during the summer of 2006.

Complaints have declined markedly since then, however, while on-time performance was just under 90% for 2009, falling short of MBTA’s goal of 95% but still much improved from years past. MBTA said “adjustments” made to account for delays caused by its own activities bolstered MBCR’s on-time performance to the 95% level.