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Sound Off: T Fare Hikes Expected; What Do You Think?

The current $1.70 subway Charlie Card could go to $2.25 or $2.40.

The MBTA’s struggles with a growing budget gap will probably mean significantly higher fares for South End riders come July.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) released two MBTA service proposals Tuesday. Both proposals would not only raise rates but also include some service reductions and eliminations.

According to information from a Mass.gov blog, one scenario (Scenario 1) proposes an overall fare increase of 43 percent, while the other scenario (Scenario 2) relies more heavily on service reductions and eliminations and only suggests a 35 percent fare increase.

Each proposal looks to close a projected $161 million budget gap for fiscal year 2013 (July 2012 to June 2013), the statement said.

What it means for South Enders?

Current Scenario 1 Scenario 2 Subway fare (CharlieCard) $1.70 $2.40 (41% hike) $2.25 (32% hike) Bus fare (CharlieCard) $1.25 $1.75 (40% hike) $1.50 (20% hike)

Monthly LinkPass (unlimited subway and local bus)

$59 (34.7 subway rides) $80 (33.3 subway rides)

$78 (34.7 subway rides)

Day LinkPass

$9 $12

$12

Week LinkPass

$15 $20

$20

Monthly Local Bus Pass

$40 (32 single fares) $55 (31.4 single fares)

$48 (32 single fares)

In addition, both scenarios include service reductions or eliminations to buses, the Commuter Rail, light rail, ferry and THE RIDE service area.

Scenario 2 has much more severe cuts to bus service. However, both scenarios would eliminate all Commuter Rail service on weekends and after 10 p.m. on weekdays, and both would eliminate ferry service entirely.

[More information on the scenarios from the MBTA]

"While the MBTA continues to identify and adopt strict measures to close the budget gap, less costly ways of doing business and additional revenue-generating measures are necessary," said MassDOT Transportation Secretary and CEO Richard Davey in the online statement. "I am confident with the public’s involvement in this process we can review the study, propose recommendations, and together generate new revenue to continue the progress the MBTA has made in serving its customers.”  

to discuss the proposals. A final recommendation will be made to the MBTA’s Board of Directors in the spring, with new fares and service changes implemented on July 1, 2012.

What do you think? Do the proposals seem reasonable or are they out of line? Which scenario do you prefer? Or would you rather see a different solution altogether? 

 

Matt M. Casey and John Waller contributed to this report.

Rayleen Gaudet Nunez January 04, 2012 at 12:30 PM
I think the raises to fares are cuts to services are equally excessive. If the T wants to save money, let them reduce the number of trains that run between rush hours. Generally, there are four or more that are only half full. The commuter rail, during rush hour service is even worse, with only five to six people to a car during non-rush hours. Transit riders need transportation during weekends and holidays to go to work or for other appointments. These services are already pared to the bone. However, by limiting the number of cars a nd the corresponding attendants during non-rush hour, much could be saved. Ryleen Nunez, South End, Boston, MA

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