BOSTON — The state transportation board voted unanimously Wednesday to reduce fares for The Ride from $4 to $3. The reduced fares will go into effect Jan. 6, 2014 and will collectively save riders $6 million a year.
Seniors and others who depend on door-to-door transit service to get around took turns thanking transportation officials, but assured them that reducing paratransit fares by $1 was merely a “first step.”
“For two years now we have come before you. First we came to warn you of the consequences we would suffer if you approved such an extreme fare hike,” said Ann Stewart, the former president of Massachusetts Senior Action Council. “Let’s not stop here.”
In 2012, when the MBTA raised fares an average of 23 percent to help close a budget deficit, fares for seniors went up disproportionately higher, as fares for The Ride were doubled to $4 with a new $5 charge for late-scheduled trips or visits to a “premium service area.”
MBTA and state transportation officials are mulling fare increases that would go into effect next summer, as well.