In keeping with the MassDOT central focus on customer service, Secretary & CEO Jeff Mullan recently brought together a group of Massachusetts’ leading private transportation providers to collaborate on the best ways to move residents, employees and visitors around the Commonwealth. In November, Secretary Mullan hosted the first meeting of what he calls the “Transportation Gap Group,” which seeks to break down the divide between public sector and private sector transportation providers, and work together to fill in each other’s “gaps.”
Participants included the Massachusetts Airport Management Association, the Massachusetts Bus Association, the Massachusetts Railroad Association, the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, Peter Pan Bus Lines, MassCommutes, the Steamship Authority, AMTRAK, and MassBike. Secretary Mullan outlined his vision for transportation in Massachusetts and the role the Transportation Gap Group can play in supporting MassDOT’s goal of a more integrated, user-friendly, and reliable transportation network. Those in attendance warmly welcomed the new collaborative approach and “new era” in the relationship between MassDOT and the private transportation service industry.
The Transportation Gap Group will provide a forum to address gaps in transportation services by sharing best practices, communicating concerns expressed by customers, and identifying ways that panel members could help fill in existing gaps. This first meeting was an important step in building trust and establishing better lines of communications with MassDOT and among the service providers. From better coordination of bus and rail schedules, to inter-operable automatic fare collection at ferry terminals, to access for bicycles on the MBTA during peak hours, the discussion made it clear that this type of public/private partnerships could enable more efficient transportation operations, better use of resources, and increased business opportunities in transportation.
Secretary Mullan and members of the Transportation Gap Group look forward to continued discussions on these issues during quarterly meetings starting in January.