Angry T riders blast board as it OKs fare hike
April 5, 2012
by Richard Weir and Chris Cassidy, Herald
MBTA riders — hit with a 23 percent fare hike as of July — may have to dig even deeper next year if state legislators fail to fix the T’s funding crisis, the state’s transportation chief warned.
Yesterday’s controversial fare vote drew hundreds of angry riders, who shouted down T board members, yelling “Just Vote No” and “Shame on You” when they finally cast their votes to enact the steeper fares and elimination of four bus routes and weekend service on four commuter rail lines that will take effect July 1.
“Now you make us chose between eating and getting to the doctor,” said Wilhelmina Melrose, 61, of Roxbury, who said she is unemployed, diabetic and legally blind.
A sole dissenting T board member got a standing ovation yesterday.
“I cannot in good conscience support a budget that ... burdens the most vulnerable people in our population with covering the gap. It’s time for the Legislature to come to the table,” said Ferdinand -Alvaro, who voted against the T’s fare hike and service cut proposal. “A solution has been needed for decades, not just the past year ... It’s a disgrace.”