MBTA Proposes Steep Fare Hikes, Massive Service Cuts

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority on Tuesday proposed fare hikes as high as 43 percent, as well as service reductions, in an effort to close a projected $161 million budget gap for the 2013 fiscal year.

State transportation officials unveiled two proposals Tuesday at a meeting of the MBTA’s Board of Directors. If implemented, they would be the agency’s first fare hikes in five years.

Under one scenario, a bus ride could jump from $1.25 to $1.75 while a subway ride could jump from $1.70 to $2.40 for passengers holding automated CharlieCards.

WBZ-TV’s Jim Smith reports

Read: MBTA proposals

Under a second scenario, fare increases would be more modest — $1.50 for a bus ride and $2.25 for subway — but service cuts would be more extensive.

Among the possible service cuts would be to commuter rail, bus and light rail. The MBTA says it has identified several routes with low ridership for possible cuts but will maintain service on the most popular routes.

Both proposals would eliminate all ferry services and all weekend commuter rail service.

Parking costs at MBTA stations could increase 20 to 28 percent. Student and senior discounts could increase 33 percent to 50 percent of total fares.

Officials say they will hold 20 public hearings this spring before announcing any final decisions. Any fare hikes would go into effect on July 1.

“I look forward to an open and transparent public process that will lead to recommendations on how we can continue to satisfy demand while addressing the T’s financial crisis,” said Jonathan Davis, the agency’s acting general manager.

WBZ-TV’s Diana Perez spoke to commuters

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Doug Cope reports

The MBTA says it expects the fare increases and service cuts to result in a 9 to 17 percent decline in total ridership.

A group that advocates for riders has urged the T to consider alternatives to raising fares or eliminating routes.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

Comments

One Comment

  1. tom says:

    To quote
    “planned introduction of single person train operation on the Red Line”

    Not ONE single person is losing a job. NOT ONE.
    Fact is there will be RAISES!!!

    More “inspectors” with little and even very little experience.
    Most inspectors being promoted are under 3 years on the job.

    Some these days have very little experience on trains.
    The Red Line inspector who could not “read Rail” ring a bell???

    Then we have all the additional people who will be stationed on the platforms who cannot be authorized to be on the tracks or Right of Way.
    And all those persons will not be able to even touch a train issue.

    ONE person will have to go through six cars to deal with issues so at rush hour it will be horrendous.
    Then deal with the added expense of things being stuck in the doors closing when the single person cannot see a small object 300 feet away and being dragged.

    300 feet of doors with multiple entrances and simultaneously trying to close all those doors at once.
    And all those monitors at five grand apiece are always shutting down and on for some reason a delay transmission.

    ALL they are doing is a shell game to make it appear that they are saving money when in reality it is costing more!!!

    They are just shuffling bodies and SOMEONE WILL DIE!!

  2. bosmonkey says:

    I sincerely hope that spending reductions will include a detailed look at benefits and salaries for employees. It’s understandable to cut services, and even raise prices, but if you don’t look at look at labor costs, you are doing a disservice to your customers.

    We should NOT have to pay more if MassDOT doesn’t share more benefits cost (retirement, health/dental) with employees and reduce the % of raises as most companies these days are doing. MassDOT should not be offering any more than the majority of companies.

  3. jak says:

    They need to stop wasting money. Perfect example on the commuter rail/Framingham. Do they really need to announce the quiet car via a recording? The announcment is so loud and annoying. What ever happened to the conductors job of announcing the stops? We now have a recordings. I’m sure this software was not cheap. Oh and how about conductors NOT collecting fares? Happens all the time if the train is crowded. Hum how much does that add up to? ” The T “.

    1. redneckjoe says:

      i see this happen all the time ; like jak said in his last comment, especially in waltham, the train is very busy picking everyone up , everybody piles on , and no (fares) are collected!! right there is over a million a year!! geeezzz start collecting the money that is due , the conductors let too many people slide without paying !!! hire more staff to get the fare.then you can hire the security that is needed for passengers to be safe from the crime that goes on……

  4. Jac says:

    It is THIS same kind of “Mental Management” that has caused the United States Postal Service to deterioate (definition:: to make inferior in quality or value) also. They cannot figure out how to SOLVE the problems, so they raise prices, cut services, and close stations. All in attempt to look like they know what they are doing and validate their jobs. INCOMPETENCY AT IT’S BEST!

  5. Worm91 says:

    The biggest annoyance I have is dragging those empty cars back and forth during the late night and weekend runs on the commuter rail. I cannot imagine it being cheaper than unhitching some of them and using fewer cars. There have to be locations where this could be done and the personnel to handle the job. You don’t see freight trains dragging any more cars than needed, but then again those are private companies where every last dime counts. Dropping empties easily cuts the weight being pulled by half or even 3/4 in some cases.

  6. emmomm says:

    AHHHHH and there we have it. Th MBTA, is again pleading to raise rates , cut service, and thus lay off workers, Like they are broke, YET they have remodeled stations, added services in some areas, created a store to buy their stuff, who really needs a t-shirt of the MBTA, just saying., Gave raises to managers raised t workers rates, for some. gave bonuses all while speaking of debt, hmmm were the books sitting on the third rail and fried, cause this smells of charred cooked books and asking for a bail out again. Give it about 6 months and we will see them asking for a grant to expand , rebuild, remodel or create something from this, JUST WAIT.

  7. emomm says:

    AHHHHH and there we have it. Th MBTA, is again pleading to raise rates , cut service, and thus lay off workers, Like they are broke, YET they have remodeled stations, added services in some areas, created a store to buy their stuff, who really needs a t-shirt of the MBTA, just saying., Gave raises to managers raised t workers rates, for some. gave bonuses all while speaking of debt, hmmm were the books sitting on the third rail and fried, cause this smells of charred cooked books and asking for a bail out again. Give it about 6 months and we will see them asking for a grant to expand , rebuild, remodel or create something from this, JUST WAIT….

  8. edsb19612297@hotmail.com says:

    LMAO @ Conductors. Next wave of jobs to be eliminated. I think of the thousands of free rides i got year to year (10 yrs) on the one way ticket stubs from the ticket window, the conductors pocket them then pass them out to friends and family, they still do…all you need to do is fix a computer for them, ladies, 1 date will do. The MBTA is BROKEN and cannot be fixed… unless it is completely automated and rid of the CRONIES!!!!

  9. catsrule says:

    this is really funny we have been hearing stories of how ridership is up on the T now I would like to know who is telling the truth here. It seems the the people who ride are the ones who always pay. maybe its time to bust the union at the T and make them work like real people do and retire at the age real people do.

  10. Next-Stop-Is says:

    I always think the Silver Line (SL4 & SL5) is a joke. I bet those bus stops with heaters are not cheap.

  11. Dr says:

    The RIDE is the biggest joke of all time !!!
    GET RID OF THAT AND LET PRIVATE COMPANYS DO IT
    the insurance companies pay for it anyhow and the T does not know how to properly bill or mange it
    GET RID OF THE RIDE and save at least one million right out the gate
    SMARTEN UP “T”

    1. Italo says:

      Until or unless such private-pay substitution options for The Ride were put into place — and I agree, it sounds like a good idea to think about implementing — why should the current disabled and elderly users of The Ride suffer? That would be like saying that they should abolish all regular T and commuter train and bus services, or replace those with private-pay substitutes, right from the get-go too. And users of The Ride need to apply for, qualify for, and pay for it as well. I don’t normally need or like to use the MBTA’s bus services, either, but I wouldn’t want to see users of that told that it should be abolished or have its services cut also.

  12. Nancy says:

    Re: The comment by Dr: The RIDE provides a very valuable and essential service for the disabled and elderly community. As a matter of fact, Veterans and Joint Venture ARE the private companies that currently administer The RIDE. Before you express an opinion, it’s always best to do some RESEARCH first! You may be worried about costs, but are currently healthy; someday, you may need this service, too. Illness and disability can happen to anyone at any time. I sincerely hope that The RIDE will NOT be cut, as it is a real lifeline for so many of us, who would otherwise be housebound or, to look at it another way, cut off from contributing to the state’s economy.

  13. taxedout says:

    Jac: You read my mind!!! This DOG and the Postoffice, are cut from the same mold. to High pay, to many bennies, and to keep that going, CUT service and Raise fares!!!! Enjoy

  14. dan says:

    really no commuter rail service on weekends? wack.

  15. I hate the MBTA says:

    “The MBTA says it expects the fare increases and service cuts to result in a 9 to 17 percent decline in total ridership.”

    So how, exactly, do they expect this plan to solve their budget crisis? They raise their fares 20% but they lose 20% of their ridership, they’re not going to be any better off.

    The green line is a perfect example of a broken system. In 2007 when the Charlie Card system was introduced, the MBTA started charging for the outbound above-ground green line service which was supposedly going to help their budget problems. If anything, the problems with the green line have gotten worse. On ALL lines, passengers have to pay when they board the train. The fare boxes are, more often than not, not accepting cash or broken all together. This leads to hundreds of free rides a day. I once got on the green line at Longwood and went all the way to Woodland and did not see a single person pay. This wasn’t even because the fare boxes were broken… it was because the green line pulled one of their “this train is going express” moves which led to the next train coming being 100% full already, opening all of its doors and 40+ people shoving in at every stop. Most of these people had never been on the express train but there simply isn’t any way to get that many people in the train effectively through ONE door.

  16. ccc says:

    no commuter service on weekends? just like i already have no t service on weekends out of porter. Obviously, why would we want people to get into the city and spend money on the weekends…. and better yet, OBVIOUSLY no one is working on the weekends so why keep the lines open. Boston has the WORST public transportation for a major city. So poorly managed, and runs terribly!!

  17. Mary Ann Marino says:

    So essentially this would punish anyone living in the suburbs who needs to take public transportation into the city on weekends or back from the city evenings!
    This would essentially cut off those of us who rely on the commuter rail to get in and out of the city to SPEND MONEY or MAKE MONEY- i.e. shopping, sight seeing, working late evenings or weekends, etc. Those who have to work late in the evenings or weekends who live int he suburbs – for instance those who work in Macy’s -they would likely lose their jobs. It may not matter though since so many who come into the city from the suburbs would no longer be making the trek or stay late to see a movie or go out to eat with virtually no transportation HOME! So how beneficial is it if you dry up the downtown businesses – forcing people to take cars into a city where there is practically no parking and what is available is astronomical- What about seeing a movie after work? Going out to eat? – forget it. Want to take the kids to the Childrens museum or to enjoy any of the benefits Boston has to offer on the weekends? If you live in the suburbs- FORGET IT!..IF the MBTA tries to get this through, the backlash Verizon felt will be NOTHING in comparison to what the T will experience. Oh and let’s not forget the generous MBTA is letting us pay up to $85 MORE a month for the priviledge of being cut off like this!

  18. xjma says:

    jack up those prices and keep giving out crazy benefits!! As long as you keep this thing rider funded I’m happy. I don’t use it, can’t use it, and dno’t want to pay for it!!

  19. Andrea Farner says:

    A correction to the “talk with commuters” video: I do have a vehicle, but as I said to the camera, it’s cheaper for me to take the train than to drive.

  20. tom cunningham says:

    Hull and Higham residents still think that the MBTA should fork over 3.2 Million a year to the private boat operators who have such a lucrative contract that they don’t even bother to collect the fares from their elite passengers as they ferry them back and forth to the “Financial District” In the mean while the people who live in Somerville, Dorchester and Mattapan are expected to see increases in fares in cuts in service. Give me a break this is why the MBTA is in the financial mess in the first place. Cut the ferry service all together and find ways to help the people who live in the poorest sections of the city

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