At Wednesday’s MassDOT board of directors meeting, Beverly A. Scott, the general manager of the T, could barely contain her glee as she approached the meeting room podium. Scott moved somewhat slowly, as she had a medical boot on her left foot, but she smiled broadly.
“I believe,” Scott proclaimed proudly, “I am the first GM who has been certified with The Ride program!”
Scott is experiencing medical issues with her left foot that require her to wear the walking boot for about three months. The brace has limited her mobility, making it challenging for her to walk long distances. So, she’s signed up to become an official customer of The Ride, the T’s paratransit service for people with disabilities and mobility challenges. (It’s a part of the T system with which she’s very familiar: Last year, Scott was won over by transportation advocates who petitioned her to lower the base fare of The Ride from $4 to $3.)
Scott, who usually commutes to the transportation building from her Back Bay home via the Route 55 bus, went through all the usual channels: She filled out an application form and scheduled an in-person interview to ensure that she was qualified for the service.
The general manager also adopted a pseudonym to ensure that she doesn’t receive any VIP treatment. (She declined to reveal her fake name, though one can only hope it’s over-the-top.)
Scott said she is keeping a diary of her experiences using The Ride, so she can share her observations with T staff on how the service measures up.
“I’ll keep you posted,” Scott said.Martine Powers can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @martinepowers.