On Tuesday, Governor Baker and MBTA Chief Administrator Brian Shortsleeve celebrated the 10,000th ride of the MBTA/RIDE pilot with Uber and Lyft. They welcomed pilot user Joshua Boissoneau to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, his place of work, where he routinely uses the pilot program to get to.
“We are proud the MBTA is expanding this program to all users of The RIDE, and providing individuals with disabilities with greater flexibility and convenience that many of us take for granted,” said Governor Baker, noting that starting March 1st, 2017, the pilot program will be available to all eligible users of The RIDE.
The on-demand pilot program operates in conjunction with traditional RIDE service, offering reduced fares, lower wait times, faster trips without the need to share rides, and same day booking. The program includes options for wheel-chair accessible vehicles and includes access for MBTA paratransit customers without smartphones. The pilot program was available to 400 customers with disabilities.
Joshua Boissoneau, the rider welcomed by the Governor and Chief Administrator Shortsleeve, is a para-rower with Paralympic aspirations. He uses the program more than six times a week on average to get to and from work, appointments, and rowing practice. “Since my first day in the pilot program, I have shared with fellow rowers and friends how impressed I was with the benefits of the program, including reliability, user-friendliness, comfort, convenience, and timing,” Boissoneau said. “I look forward to remaining an active participant.”
Since launching last September, The Ride’s innovative pilot program has reached 10,000 rides that have covered over 45,000 miles, and have helped decrease the MBTA’s costs by 6%.
MBTA Chief Administrator Brian Shortsleeve was proud of the success of the program. “This is a win-win solution for our Riders and the MBTA,” said Shortsleeve. “It’s an example of a way we can partner with best-in-class private companies to drive innovation at the MBTA.”
Governor Baker has lauded the program for its ability to increase flexibility, reliability, and convenience for customers. He discussed its benefits during his recent State of the Commonwealth Address, praising the MBTA for being able to think differently to better serve its customers more reliably.
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