The Brockton Area Transit Authority (BAT) serves 10 communities in the Brockton area. The majority of service is focused on downtown Brockton; in addition, connections are provided to regional services in Brockton, Stoughton, and Boston (Ashmont). BAT provides service to all communities in its service area.
BAT provides a number of different types of services:
Most BAT service consists of local routes. These include 13 fixed-routes, one deviated fixed tour, and one route to the Dorchester Ashmont station.
Local services generally operate from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm on weekdays, 7:00 am to 9:00 pm on Saturdays, and 11:30 am to 6:30 pm on Sundays. BAT's Ashmont route operates to and from the MBTA's Ashmont Red Line Station in Boston, and operates from 4:50 am to 11:25 pm on weekdays and 5:05 am to 10:45 pm on Saturdays. Most service operates every 20 to 45 minutes.
Paratransit service operates the same hours as local service and is available only for senior and disabled riders.
BAT provides a large number of regional connections. These include:
As described above, most service operates to and from the BAT Centre, which is BAT's major passenger facility, parking garage and administration facility. Other major public transit facilities are the MBTA's Montello, Brockton, and Campello Stations on the Middleborough/Lakeville Line.
BAT has three basic fare structures for its three primary types of service:
A variety of discounts are provided for local and Ashmont services. These include a 50% discount for seniors, disabled riders, and children between 5 and 11, and no fare for accompanied children under 5. Free transfers are provided and are good for 1 hour, but are not valid for return tripsIn March 2011, BAT began accepting Charlie Cards for fare payment and provides users of those cards a 10Â¢ discount per trip. One, seven, and 31-day passes are also offered. No discounts are offered for paratransit service.
In 2010, BAT carried just over 3 million passengers. Approximately 93% of these passengers used local and express bus services and 7% used paratransit. In total, BAT carries the third highest volume of riders among Massachusetts RTAs (behind PVTA and WRTA), and the third highest amount of service (in terms of vehicle hours).
In 2010, BAT had 54 vehicles for local and fixed-route service and 51 vehicles for paratransit service. Compared to other RTAs, BAT has the third largest fixed-route fleet and the sixth largest paratransit fleet.
In 2010, BAT's total operating expenses were $12.8 million dollars. Of this, $9.6 million or 75% was for local and express service, and 25% was for paratransit service. BAT's operating costs were the third highest among RTAs (behind PVTA and WRTA).
Fare revenue covered approximately 28% of BAT's 2010 operating expenses. By type of service, fare revenues cover 25% of local and express service costs and 35% of paratransit. BAT collects the second highest amount of fare revenue among RTAs, behind only PVTA, and has the second highest farebox return ratio.
Over the past 10 years, BAT's overall ridership trends have been slightly downward, while over the same period service levels have increased. In terms of BAT's cost per unit of service, BAT has become more cost-effective delivering paratransit service, but less effective delivering local service. Overall, lower overall ridership levels have led to lower overall productivity.
Between 2001 and 2010, total ridership has declined from 3.6 million to 3.1 million passengers per year. Most of these declines occurred in the early-mid 2000s and most declines were on local and express services. Local and express route ridership has remained relatively stable since 2003. Demand-response ridership has been stable since at least 2000, which is in contrast to many other transit systems where large increases in paratransit ridership have been driving large increases in operating costs.
Since 2001, the total amount of service that BAT has provided, in terms of revenue vehicle hours, has increased by 22%. Most of this increase is attributed to a 62% increase in demand-responsive service, compared to a 6% increase in fixed-route service. Demand-responsive service now accounts for about 40% of BAT service.
BAT's operating costs increased from $10.5 million in 2001 to $12.9 million in 2010. This represents an increase of 23% over 10 years, or an average of 2.4% per year, which is low considering increases in fuel and health insurance costs that significantly impact transit operating costs. Within this overall increase, costs for paratransit increased to a slightly higher extent than for local and express service. Over the 10 year period, paratransit costs increased by 27%, whereas local and fixed-route costs increased by 22%.
Fare revenues increased over the same period from $2.6 million to $3.6 million. This was an increase of 51%, which greatly exceeded the percentage increase in BAT's operating costs. BAT's farebox return was 23% in 2001 and almost 28% in 2010. As is the case at all transit systems, farebox return has declined in years between fare increases, but BAT has used fare increases to maintain a farebox return ratio of between 22% and 30%.
Between 2001 and 2010, BAT's operating cost per passenger for local and express service increased from $2.36 to $3.32, or by 41%. BAT's operating cost per passenger for paratransit service has increased to a lesser extent, from $11.91 to $16.10, or by 35%. Operating costs per passenger have increased to a greater extent than total operating costs due to a combination of modest operating cost increases and modest ridership declines. Still, BAT's 2010 operating cost per passenger was the third lowest among all RTAs (behind only VTA and PVTA).
Between 2001 and 2010, BAT has increased the amount of service that it provides, with increases in revenue vehicle miles of service of 6% for local and express service and 62% for demand-response service. Even with these increases, ridership has declined, and as a result, the number of passengers carried per revenue vehicle hour has declined to a greater extent than overall ridership. Local and express ridership per revenue vehicle hour declined from 28.5 to 23.3, and for paratransit declined from 4.4 to 2.5.
The decline in passengers per vehicle hour on demand-response service has been particularly steep, as paratransit ridership has remained relatively stable, but revenue vehicle hours have increased by 62%. BAT is providing much more service to serve a similar number of trips. Reasons for this may include greater geographical dispersion of customers and destinations across the BAT service area, and greater difficulty in effectively grouping customer trips.
Between 2001 and 2010, BAT's operating costs increased modestly for both local and paratransit service. BAT's operating cost per revenue vehicle hour has increased for local service and decreased for paratransit. For local and shuttle service, this cost increased from $67.23 to $77.41, or by 15%. This decrease is particularly notable considering large increases in fuel and health insurance cost during that time. For paratransit, these costs declined from $52.42 to $40.97, or by 22%. This is due to BAT providing much more paratransit service hours since 2001. BAT's 2010 operating cost per revenue vehicle hour is seventh lowest of all RTAs.