MBTA board ready to vote on proposed fare increases
April 4, 2012
By Eric Moskowitz, Boston Globe
The MBTA board is poised to vote Wednesday on a plan to raise most subway fares 30 cents, bus fares 25 cents, and commuter rail rides by $1.25 or more, a package board members appear to favor.
John R. Jenkins, the board chairman, said the end result will disappoint riders hoping to be spared any fare increases, such as those who rallied outside the State House Tuesday and planned an overnight vigil until the meeting. But he said he thought the proposal advanced by MBTA management balanced the T’s stark financial situation with the desires of customers who packed more than 30 public hearings.
The proposed increases, along with the elimination of a few bus routes and some weekend commuter rail service, erase about $90 million of a $160 million budget gap for fiscal 2013. The rest would come from one-time state sources, including leftover snowplowing money and a surplus in a little-known account fed by auto inspection fees.
Davis thanked customers for their input at hearings and acknowledged that the changes will affect people’s lives, especially those on fixed incomes or riding targeted routes. He also reiterated that this is a one-year fix, with more rider pain inevitable next year unless the state adopts new taxes.
“There still needs to be a discussion on a longer-range transportation finance plan that adequately funds not only the MBTA, but all the transportation throughout the Commonwealth,’’ Davis said.