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4 Arrested In Senior Citizens Protest On Beacon Hill

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Hundreds of senior citizens protest on Beacon Street. (WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Lana Jones)

Hundreds of senior citizens protest on Beacon Street. (WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones)

BOSTON (CBS) – As the House began debating the transportation financing bill Monday, hundreds of senior citizens blocked traffic on Beacon Street in protest.

Four were arrested before Boston Police re-opened the street.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports

Seniors citizens protest the state's transportation finance bill on Beacon Hill. (CBS)

Seniors citizens protest the state’s transportation finance bill on Beacon Hill. (CBS)

The seniors told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones that they will continue their protest until police arrest them or the House reduces the cost of The Ride, the MBTA’s door-to-door service for people who can’t take the MBTA due to a disability.

The protesters say it has been impossible for them to get around since fares for the service increased from $2 to $4.

The average fare hike for all other transit services was 23 percent.

The new bill being considered would raise more than $500 million in new tax revenue, including a 3 cent hike in the state’s gasoline tax.

Legislative leaders say the measure would close the MBTA’s annual operating deficit, put regional transit systems on sounder financial footing and gradually end the practice of borrowing money to pay the salaries of state transportation employees.

Gov. Deval Patrick says he’ll veto the bill if it reaches his desk unchanged.

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