Dozens Camp Out At State House In Protest Of MBTA Fare Hikes

By Jim Armstrong, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – The 24 hour vigil currently underway on the steps of the State House is being maintained by several different groups, all of whom are affected by the proposed MBTA fare hikes. But the night shift belongs to the kids.

Like so many people who rely on public transportation, young people are outraged over proposed fare hikes and service cuts designed to help the cash-strapped MBTA.

“I live in Somerville, I go to school in Cambridge, and I work in Boston. It’s a really, really long commute every day,” and an expensive one for 16-year-old Akeira Parker, one of the 30-plus people who plan to camp out here all night long.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports

Any fare increase is “coming out of my pocket,” she explains, “so if they raise the prices it’s going to affect me big time because I rely on the T.”

The protesters are targeting the State House since they are holding out hope that elected officials will use their authority to take the financial pressure off the T.

“We’ve actually over the past two months given them alternatives to cover the Big Dig debt that the state put on them and they’re trying to put on us,” says community organizer Modesto Sanchez.

And even if Wednesday’s vote is seemingly a done-deal, these protesters promise to keep their voices up.

Youth leader Caroline Casey explains it this way: “We’ve been meeting with them for months, visiting them. We’ve rallied — 500 young people marched last week. We’re not going to stop just because they’re not acting. We’re not going to give up just because this is too important.”


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