Group Plans Mass MBTA Fare Evasion on Friday

A protest group aims to foster mass fare evasions on the MBTA on Friday in protest of the recent fare hike and service cuts.

While most commuters limit their protest of the T's recent fare hikes and service cuts to grumbling, one activist group is going the civil disobedience route.

"Boston Fare Strike" plans to do a mass fare evasion at Park Street station. If it goes as scheduled, it would mimic a previous rally in which dozens of protesters poured through the turnstiles at Park Street in June. Attached is video of that action.

But this time the free-ride seekers might have some more consequences to their protest. This week T police started issuing $50 tickets to people caught evading the turnstiles. The Transit Police made a point of posting news of their crackdown on their Twitter feed.

The fare evaders also have their social media networks up and running. "Boston Fare Strike" has a Facebook page and event listing, plus Twitter and Tumblr accounts.

Protesters put the T fare hikes and service cuts into the larger context of austerity measures being put in place in many Western democracies.

"The State House has refused to take the MBTA debt seriously, and we aren’t going to keep paying them if they continue to bring the T into a downward spiral," protester Julie Almond told Steve Annear of BostonInno.

T officials, naturally, aren't impressed. MBTA spokesperson Joe Pesaturo told Annear that the free riders's actions only worsen the T’s financial shape.

The protest is slated for 6-7:30 p.m. Friday at Park Street Station.

So what do you think? Is this innovative civil disobedience with a point? Does it send the wrong message about how to protest fare hikes?

Southender July 13, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Yes it does send the wrong message, They should be arrested.
Rayleen Gaudet Nunez July 15, 2012 at 03:08 PM
How does one fight back against injustice? People went to hearings to express their outrage at the T hikes. The Ride which is for disabled and elderly people and a 100% increase in fares and a 125% increase if the ride was outside of Greater Boston. Since this is generally the least affluent of Boston residents, where is the justice here? We might be sending the wrong message if we protest, but what do we have to lose? I think the T Board and General Manager are the ones who need to go to jail for making us pay for their mismanagement of the T in general. Rayleen Nunez, South End


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