Local Business Leaders Warn About Proposed MBTA Service Cuts

In this photo taken May 24, 2011, a commuter train leaves the MBTA station in Andover, Mass. (AP)

BOSTON — A group of Boston business leaders is speaking out against proposed fare hikes and service cuts by the MBTA.

The group, known as A Better City, warns that current proposals could hurt the local economy. They are calling for the state to give more funding to the MBTA, which is trying to close a $161 million budget gap.

Larry DiCara, chair of A Better City, an attorney at Nixon Peabody and a former Boston city councilor, joined WBUR’s Morning Edition to discuss the organization’s ideas.

“Business leaders across the city understand that some fair hikes are necessary but they also realize that the kinds of service cuts that have been suggested could be devastating,” DiCara said. “Every business in Boston relies upon the T to get people to work, and that includes the folks both at the top and at the bottom.”

DiCara and A Better City are suggesting a short-term solution that includes “acceptable” fare hikes, minimal service cuts and more funding from the state.

“Some money perhaps from the snow fund, since we haven’t had much snow this winter, and then, more importantly, a long-term solution, probably effective within a year, which can put the T on a good financial footing going forward,” DiCara said.

A long-term plan, according to DiCara, must include finding more diverse sources of revenue for the MBTA.

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  • Dwr714

    How about sponsoring a learning how to read program? The mbta pays employees to stand at the charlie card machines. For what? It’s pretty much user friendly so long as you can read. I load my charlie card with 40 dollars at a time so I don’t have to stand in line. When I do have to stand in line it usually takes at least 10 minutes and that is for each person in front of me. Anyone who can read can easily operate these machines. Transactions should take 20 to 30 seconds. Not so much. It’s not the machines, it’s for the fact that people cannot read. This is not a joke and I am not gloating about this. It’s sad. If the MBTA were to invest in a charity/non profit reading and learning program and mbta travellers with charlie cards could get some form of credits and/or training programs??? As a business the MBTA can write off any charity programs and the service cuts, in large part, could be reduced to the MBTA employees who are standing guard at the charlie card machines that are generally not very helpful in the first place. what’s the budget to employee those scarecrow’s anyways? Probably greater than or equal to the service cuts that you have in place to be deployed in July. Take a looksee. Prove me wrong.

  • Dwr714

    I have witnessed your charlie card reps reading the paper, on the phone and outside smoking butts on mbta property while I have also witnessed riders smoking in the same spot and get a ticket for doing so. Your company sucks balls and need to take a good look at what happens. You have enough cameras to do so. Lord knows that you don’t use the cameras for security so you might as well use them to monitor your own deadbeat employees that we all see everyday. Fair hikes and service cuts? How about dropping dead weight and implementing a safe and secure system?

  • Dwr714

    Don’t even get me started about another disabled train or a schedule adjustment. 

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