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Commuter rail evaluations reveal skepticism of incumbent’s improvements

Rockport-bound commuter rail train neared Beverly’s Montserrat Station.
Rockport-bound commuter rail train neared Beverly’s Montserrat Station.John Blanding/Globe Staff

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Evaluations of two dueling bids for the commuter rail suggest that managers at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority had grown skeptical of the current operator’s ability to deliver on promises to improve service and usher in innovation, according to documents released by the T this week.

For the most part, the team of more than two dozen transportation officials concluded that both the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Co. and Keolis Commuter Services were competent operators who could deliver adequate service in coming years. But when it came to bidders’ promises to improve on-time performance and mechanical reliability and modernize technology, some T officials questioned whether MBCR was capable of change.

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