MBTA Mobility Integration Framework

January 20, 2022


Proposed Motion

The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) votes to approve this work program.

Project Identification

Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) Classification

Agency and Other Client Transportation Planning Studies and Technical Analyses

Project Number 13316


Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)
Client Supervisor:
Lynsey Heffernan

Project Supervisors

Principal: Rebecca Morgan
Paul Christner/Sandy Johnston

Funding Source

MassDOT Directed PL Funds

Schedule and Budget

Schedule: 8 months from notice to proceed

Budget: $138,384

Schedule and budget details are shown in Exhibits 1 and 2, respectively.

Relationship to MPO Work

This studyis supported in full with non-MPO funding. Committing MPO staff to this project will not impinge on the quality or timeliness of MPO-funded work.



The MBTA has requested that Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS) perform research to support its interest in exploring a framework for integration (for example, technology, fare, payment, service, physical, etc.) with other mobility providers in Massachusetts, such as transportation network companies (TNC) and bikeshare providers. This project will support the MBTA with answering the policy question, or “why” side of mobility integration. The MBTA wishes to develop a policy that will guide its assessment of potential integrations in a way that is rigorous, honest, and supports the MBTA’s own goals and objectives. This research will support the MBTA in establishing a framework for the future of mobility integrations and identifying what gaps such integrations can and cannot fill. Examples of mobility integrations include partnerships with bikeshare such as BlueBikes; the concept of Mobility as a Service (MaaS); and first- and last-mile partnerships with TNCs. 

This task will explore the following questions.


  1. Objective 1

Provide input into what mobility in Massachusetts may look like in the future. What new mobility providers are on the horizon? How will they fit into the Massachusetts landscape broadly and into the MBTA services specifically?


  1. Objective 2

    Understand how MBTA’s peer agencies and regional/statewide transportation thinkers approach mobility and systems integration. What are the motivations for engaging in integration? What approaches do other entities take? How are outcomes measured?
  2. Objective 3

    Support through research the creation of MBTA policy for doing fare, payment and service integrations with other mobility providers that serve Massachusetts residents and MBTA riders. What should we think about when making this policy? Do others have a written policy on how they approach integrations? If so, what are the best practices for what to include?

Work Description

Work on this project will consist of three tasks or phases, which will build a library of information; use this information to analyze alternatives; and make recommendations for an MBTA policy addressing mobility integration. Tasks 1 and 2 will largely run concurrently, although Subtask 1.1 is foundational and will precede both tasks.

Task 1  Peer Agency Review and Case Studies

CTPS will develop a peer agency analysis corresponding to the local/regional/statewide analysis that will be developed in Task 2 and drawing on the experience of peer transit agencies that have integrated with mobility providers.

Subtask 1.1  Identification of Peer Agencies with Mobility Integration Policies

CTPS will identify seven to 10 transit agencies, both US and international, that have executed or are pursuing MaaS or mobility integrations in areas such as fares and service planning. CTPS will collect the written policies that these agencies have developed and create an assessment matrix assessing what elements are included in which plans. CTPS will then use this matrix to inform both further research into these agencies’ plans (see Subtask 1.2) and interviews with MBTA staff and regional stakeholders (see Subtasks 2.1 and 2.2).

Subtask 1.2  Peer Agency Interviews and Data Collection

CTPS will interview and collect relevant documents and data from the transit agencies identified in Subtask 1.1. Areas of interest include the following:

Subtask 1.3  Case Study Comparison Memorandum

CTPS will write a memorandum that summarizes the findings from Subtasks 1.1 and 1.2 and illustrates several case studies relevant to the MBTA. Questions considered will include whether peer transit agencies have been able to solve the challenges posed by local stakeholders and whether they have found some strategies or evaluation metrics more helpful than others.

Products of Task 1

Task 2  Regional Gaps and Needs Assessment

This task will engage regional and statewide stakeholders to pursue a gaps analysis and begin to develop the rationale for pursuing mobility integrations in the Commonwealth, and the MBTA’s role in those integrations. The goal will be to identify perceived gaps in transit and mobility and develop perspectives on how mobility integrations can help close them. Using the assessment matrix developed in Subtask 1.1 to inform these interviews will give both stakeholders and MBTA staff concrete elements to consider.

Subtask 2.1  MBTA Interviews

CTPS will interview MBTA staff to review MBTA goals and vision around mobility integration, including perceived opportunities and obstacles to integrations, and what policy goals and values can be fulfilled (or potentially obstructed) by potential integrations. The interview will also include questions around the role the MBTA currently fills in the transportation ecosystem and an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the current structure.

Subtask 2.2  Stakeholder Interviews and Outreach

CTPS will conduct interviews with five to seven stakeholders involved in transportation policy and related fields in Massachusetts. Stakeholders to be interviewed may include academic researchers; policy thinkers; advocacy groups; and other mobility providers. CTPS will also facilitate a workshop or open house through the MPO’s Transit Working Group to gain input from other transit operators and regional stakeholders.

Subtask 2.3  Regional Gaps Analysis

CTPS will synthesize the information gathered in subtasks 2.1 and 2.2 and identify the regional gaps and rationale for pursuing mobility integrations in Massachusetts based on the findings from tasks 1 and 2.

Products of Task 2

Regional Needs Assessment for Future Integrations (memorandum and table of responses)

Task 3  Policy Analysis and Recommendations

The focus of this task will be to analyze the precise policies on mobility integration adopted by peer agencies; identify the critical elements and strengths and weaknesses; relate these elements to the MBTA’s goals; and make recommendations for the MBTA’s mobility integration policy.

Subtask 3.1  Comparative Analysis of Peer Policies and Stakeholder Input

CTPS will compare the products of subtasks 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, and 2.2, to identify elements that are commonly shared between peer agencies and locally expressed needs. This will create an evolved version of the peer agency assessment matrix from Subtask 1.1.

Subtask 3.2  Best Practices Memorandum

CTPS will write a memorandum summarizing findings from all subtasks, identifying best practices, and making recommendations for elements to include in the MBTA mobility integration policy. The memorandum will seek to identify best practices that are also local priorities; best practices that are not identified in local feedback; elements of local feedback that are not known to be peer best practice; and how all of these elements relate to the MBTA’s own internally expressed goals.

Products of Task 3

An analysis of peer best practices evaluated against MBTA’s goals and recommendations for the MBTA’s mobility integration policy. These will be provided in the form of a detailed matrix and memorandum summarizing both peer best practices and feedback received on mobility integration policies, evaluating those elements against MBTA goals, and recommendations for MBTA’s mobility integration policy.


Exhibit 1
MBTA Mobility Integration Framework

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Peer Agency Review and Case Studies
From Month 1, Week 1 to Month 6, Week 4.
Delivered by Month 6, Week 4.
Regional Gaps and Needs Assessment
From Month 1, Week 1 to Month 6, Week 4.
Delivered by Month 6, Week 4.
Policy Analysis and Recommendations
From Month 7, Week 1 to Month 8, Week 4.
Delivered by Month 8, Week 4.
A: Assessment matrix and case study memorandum
B: Regional Needs Assessment for Future Integrations (memorandum and table of responses)
C: Matrix and memorandum on peer best practices, feedback, and recommendations

Exhibit 2
MBTA Mobility Integration Framework

Direct Salary and Overhead


Person-Weeks Direct
M-1 P-5 P-4 P-3 P-2 Total
Peer Agency Review and Case Studies
3.3 1.5 3.6 2.2 7.5 18.0 $26,991 $29,444 $56,436
Regional Gaps and Needs Assessment
4.0 1.4 2.1 4.1 7.0 18.5 $27,794 $30,321 $58,115
Policy Analysis and Recommendations
1.7 0.6 1.3 1.3 2.5 7.4 $11,398 $12,434 $23,833
8.9 3.5 6.9 7.7 16.9 43.9 $66,184 $72,200 $138,384

Other Direct Costs



MassDOT Directed PL Funds


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