Section 82 RTA Memorandum of Understanding
Notwithstanding any special or general law to the contrary, for fiscal year 2020, each regional transit authority receiving state assistance pursuant to item 1595-6370 of section 2E and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, hereinafter referred to as the department, shall develop a bilateral memorandum of understanding; provided however, that the memorandum of understanding and distribution of base revenue and any additional assistance or inflation increase shall be executed and distributed not less than 45 days after the effective date of this act. Of the amount required to be transferred to regional transit authorities under item 1595-6370 of section 2E, $3,500,000 shall be conditioned on the execution of a memorandum of understanding by a regional transit authority and the department and distributed as performance grants to regional transit authorities that best demonstrate compliance with or commitment to the service decisions, quality of service and environmental sustainability recommendations from the report of the task force on regional transit authority performance and funding established pursuant to section 72 of chapter 154 of the acts of 2018.
Any disputes about the content of a memorandum of understanding shall be reviewed by the secretary of transportation and, if agreement cannot be reached, then referred for resolution to a 3 person committee consisting of the secretary of transportation, a member representing the Massachusetts Association of Regional Transit Authorities who is not an employee or board member of the regional transit authority whose memorandum of understanding is in dispute and a third person selected by the other 2 members. A regional transit authority that does not enter into a memorandum of understanding for fiscal year 2020 within 60 days of the effective date of this act shall receive the same amount of money apportioned to the regional transit authority under item 1595-6370 in fiscal year 2019 until such time as agreement is reached on a memorandum of understanding or the dispute is resolved pursuant to the aforementioned dispute resolution process, whichever comes first; and provided further, that for the purposes of this section, funding provided pursuant to section 72 of chapter 154 of the acts of 2018 shall not be considered a part of the money apportioned to a regional transit authority under item 1595-6370 in fiscal year 2019.
Based on a system of performance metrics established by the department, a memorandum of understanding shall incorporate performance targets most relevant to the regional transit authority's unique system in the following categories: ridership, customer service and satisfaction, asset management and financial performance, including farebox recovery. Performance targets shall be measured against regional transit authority established baselines. Each memorandum of understanding shall also include agreed upon timelines for implementation and shall not be punitive.
The department may require each regional transit authority to provide data on ridership, customer service and satisfaction, asset management and financial performance, including farebox recovery, and shall compile collected data into a report on the performance of regional transit authorities and each authority's progress toward meeting the performance metrics established in the memorandum of understanding. The report shall be filed with the clerks of the senate and house of representatives, the senate and house committees on ways and means and the joint committee on transportation not later than July 1, 2020.