Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack announced Monday the launch of the new Performance Dashboard for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, according to a Monday press release.
The Dashboard is an online portal that allows T riders to keep updated on the daily reliability levels of the four subway lines and 170 bus routes, creating a new sense of transparency, according to the release.
The release stated that the Dashboard is driven by data that focuses on “reliability, ridership, financials, and customer satisfaction.” This tracking website will provide the public the ability to view the reliability of the trains and buses all day long, as well as during periods of heavy traffic.
“Our ultimate goal is to make the MBTA one of the best transit systems in the country,” Pollack said in the release. “The Dashboard reflects our priority of making data-driven decisions and in keeping us accountable when it comes to customer satisfaction.”
The Dashboard will be able to provide these reliability levels to the more than a million passengers that use the MBTA system every weekday.
Jason Johnson, spokesperson for the MBTA, wrote in an email that this marks the first time performance data for all four branches of the Green Line is publically available. Johnson added that comments on social media have already provided a strong positive response to the Dashboard.
“Public comment is important in that it allows the MBTA to reach out to a broad range of community organizations and transportation stakeholders to encourage review and comment on the service improvement or change options,” Johnson wrote.
Kristina Egan, director of Transportation for Massachusetts, said the Dashboard is a great new tool for riders to use.
“The Performance Dashboard is a wonderful step in the right direction so that consumers can understand how well the T will be performing,” Egan said. “We believe that having transparent and accurate data helps commuters figure out how they can get to work most quickly and most reliably.”
Egan pointed out that after last winter, the MBTA largely lost the trust of the general public in its ability to perform.
“We’re committed at Transportation for Massachusetts to ensuring that our public’s information about transportation is transparent, efficient and very public-dollar viable,” Egan said. “So having a dashboard with outward-facing information that is easily understandable is really important for rebuilding trust in the MBTA.”
Several Boston residents shared their opinions on the new Dashboard and the MBTA in general.
John Carroll, 50, of Brighton, said he already uses the bus app to monitor how far away the trains are while he’s waiting at his stop, but he has disappointed with its accuracy.
“We’re very behind in technology,” he said. “This morning when I took the T, I saw five trains going one way, and I was waiting for the one coming my way for a while … You’re kind of always going to be at the mercy of the T.”
Brian Quinn, 36, of Back Bay, said the Dashboard might be helpful.
“I’m glad people riding the T can finally see what’s going on,” he said. “I feel like the T never reveals much to the public, so I’m glad that’s changing.”
However, Rebecca Carlisle, 32, of Back Bay, said she has been dissatisfied with the MBTA for a while now.
“I feel like I’m always waiting and there are always problems,” she said. “Every day, there’s some delay or some problem somewhere, and I don’t think this Dashboard is going to change that.”