Mass. Board Approves MBTA Fare Hikes, Some Service Cuts

BOSTON — The MBTA Board of Directors on Wednesday approved a 23 percent average fare hike for riders, along with modest cuts in service.

The 4-to-1 vote capped months of often-fierce debate over how to close a projected $159 million deficit for the fiscal year starting July 1.

Before voting, the board heard from dozens of angry opponents of the fare hikes, the first in more than five years, who said the fare increases and service cuts would harm seniors, students and low-income people who rely on public transportation.

Kristina Egan, director of the group Transportation for Massachusetts, says that despite the T’s efforts to limit the impact of the cost hikes, they’ll be hard for some riders to bear.

“We think the fare increase is still going to have a disproportionate impact on low-income people, particularly those on fixed incomes,” Egan said.

After the vote, several opponents shouted “shame on you,” to the board.

Opponents also demanded that Gov. Deval Patrick and state lawmakers work to find a long-term fix to the chronically underfunded system.

MBTA officials said the budget would only be a one-year fix unless the Legislature comes up with a solution.

With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom

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  • Xxxx

    How about you cut the pension program.  That should be able to get you close to the $159 million within the first year

  • Anonymous

    The consensus among public meeting attendees was “raise fees if u want as long as u don’t cut services.”Really? This is the result of “listening”?All that expensive listening gave that impression?

  • StephenJS

    Why has there not been any mention of the abysmal service that is currently provided by the T to its riders?  Any rider can tell a dozen stories of waiting and waiting and waiting, only to give up and start walking to their destination instead.  Now, the T is going to raise its fares and cut its already crumby service, thereby further reducing its ability and opportunity to earn much-needed revenue – and, by the T’s own admission, this proposal won’t even to solve the overall budget issue!  This seems a bit like the dog chasing its own tail…

  • Jnlhunter2

             We need to cut the salaries and the pensions of these hacks who run the MBTA. They say they have no choice but to raise fares. If the public saw the salaries of these people, it is a true disgrace.

             Get rid of all of the hacks and open up their jobs at half the salary they are getting now. There would be a line a mile long for these jobs with people that are more competent and we could hold the line on fares.

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