Section 11. The board shall establish and implement policies that provide for the maximization of nontransportation revenues from all sources. The board shall report to the general court 30 days prior to the board’s approval of the preliminary annual budget on efforts of the authority to maximize nontransportation revenues. The board shall establish and implement policies, consistent with the provisions of paragraphs (q) and (r) of section 5, that maximize and increase total fare revenue and ridership by improving service quality, expanding transit service where appropriate, establishing fare policies that promote ridership growth, marketing its transit services and fare media and providing desirable services and benefits to transit riders.
The board shall establish and implement policies that increase the proportion of the authority’s expenses covered by system revenues, provided that the authority shall take all necessary steps to increase system revenues and improve operating efficiency before considering any reductions in service levels; provided that the authority takes all necessary steps to maximize nontransportation revenues, increase ridership and improve fare collection practices before implementing fare increases. Nothing in this chapter shall preclude the authority from increasing fares, if necessary, to meet debt service obligations.
For the purposes of measuring the efficiency of authority operations and evaluating the proportion of authority expenses covered by system revenues, the board shall determine, among other accountability measures, the net operating investment per passenger-mile ratio. To calculate said ratio, the authority shall use for the values of the variables in said ratio the data reported each fiscal year to the federal transit agency, so-called, for the purposes of the national transit database.
In conjunction with the preparation of the preliminary operating budget for the subsequent fiscal year, the board shall establish a target net operating investment per passenger mile ratio that is expected to be achieved in the subsequent fiscal year. The authority shall forward a report to the governor, the general court, and the advisory board not later than April 1 detailing the actual net operating investment per passenger mile ratio achieved in the prior two fiscal years, the ratio projected to be achieved in the current fiscal year and the ratio expected to be achieved in the subsequent two fiscal years. Said report shall be accompanied by an explanation of the reasons for year-to-year change in said ratio.
Beginning in fiscal year 2006, the authority shall seek to achieve and maintain a target ratio of not more than 20 cents for any fiscal year; provided, that the inability to achieve the ratio of 20 cents shall not, by itself, require the authority to reduce service levels, increase fares or take any other specific action; provided, that if the authority is unable to achieve or maintain the target ratio of 20 cents, or less, it shall, for fiscal year 2006 and subsequent fiscal years, include in said report the reasons therefor and the plans of the authority for seeking to achieve the target ratio of 20 cents.