BOSTON (CBS) – The state transportation department has decided to raise MBTA fares 23-percent and cut $15 million in service to close a $159 million budget gap for the upcoming fiscal year.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports.

According to the plan announced at a news conference Wednesday, four bus routes will be eliminated entirely.  14 other routes will be modified.  Specifics were made public on the MBTA’s website.

Read: MBTA Fare and Service Changes

There will be a 35-percent increase in commuter ferry fares and weekend ferry service in Quincy will be eliminated.

Weekday commuter rail service will be maintained, but weekend service will be eliminated on the Kingston-Plymouth, Needham and Greenbush lines.

Commuter rail monthly pass rates will go up $38 in Zone 1 from $135 to $173.

Zone 9 monthly passes, currently $265, will jump $64 to $329.

Check: New Pass Prices

On the subway lines, E branch weekend service between Brigham Circle and Heath Street on the Green Line will be eliminated.

A single bus ride will now cost $1.50, up from $1.25.

A single subway ride will go up from the current $1.70 to $2.

A monthly pass, which currently costs $59, will be $70.

Bus fares for students and seniors will now cost 75-cents each.  Subway fares will now cost them $1.

The student weekly pass for Monday-Friday will increase to $25.  It’s currently $20.

A 7-day student pass will be introduced at a cost of $28.

Service will not be reduced on The Ride, which currently costs $2 a trip.  In the new budget, that will increase to $4 or $5, depending on where you live and how far you have to travel.  The MBTA is also seeking reimbursement from Medicaid for The Ride.

The proposal also includes $61 million in one-time revenues, which won’t be available in fiscal year 2014.

Read: Patrick Supports New Plan

The MBTA says it will take $5 million from the MassDOT snow and ice removal program, $51 million from the motor vehicle inspection fund and $5 million from the North Station Garage lease payment.

WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager spoke to riders

If approved by the Legislature, all the cuts and fare hikes would begin July 1.

Despite the cuts, the T will maintain 99.7-percent of its service, according to officials.

However, looking ahead to next year, the MBTA says it already has a $100 million operating deficit for fiscal 2014.

WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson contributed to this report.

You can follow her on Twitter @karenreports.

Comments (71)
  1. Scooby says:

    Say you take the bus to & from work 5 days a week. It will be cheaper (by $5.50) to pay every day rather then buy a monthly bus pass. This is going on a 4.3 week per month.
    The daily bus rate for the WRTA is already $1.50 and the monthly rate is $48.00.
    Why haven’t they been charging MassHealth/Medicaid for TheRide previously? They probably would not be in as big of a hole as they are now. Why don’t they run every hour & a half instead of every hour?

    1. dan says:


  2. Rob Cleary says:

    They should have gone much deeper with the cuts and fare increases. They should keep cutting until they can cover 100% of their operating costs. No more commuter welfare.

    Commuter rail should only be run at peak periods. No weekends. I’m tired of seeing bloated employees running empty trains.

    Charge $5 to every self entitled moonbat who takes a bicycle on a train or bus. Or ban the idiotic, time wasting practice all together.

    Fire the T employees who sleep all night on Von Hillerin(sic) street in Dorchester. They are taking spaces that the N Star guys could be sleeping in.

    1. Scooby says:

      Some people work on the weekends. I do not think cutting weekend service is a good idea. I do think it would be a good idea to charge for bikes. Maybe not $5.00 but something.

      1. tedro says:

        if you charge me for my bike they should also charge charge for dogs and suitcases shopping carts over stuffed bookbags but hey lets not spot there how about strollers

      2. Rob Cleary says:

        Fine with me.

      3. Scooby says:

        I don’t think you should charge for strollers because there is a human being IN the stroller it is along the same lines (though not the same) as someone being in a wheelchair. I do not think there should be animals on the bus/train/subway at all UNLESS it is a service animal!

    2. CommonSense says:

      No more commuter welfare? No where in the world does public transit run on a surplus or on budget. There is just no way to do it. You must be delusional if you think any metro transit agency would be able to not run on a deficit and still provide adequate service. Jeez, you Republican/Libertarian dink are what’s killing this country.

      1. Rob Cleary says:

        Then all service should be terminated until they figure out how to run it on revenue only. You could buy everyone a Rolls Royce with the money they waste.

      2. fred says:

        I guess common sense is not very common. The Rochester NY public transit system that in 2004 had a 27.7 million deficit now operates with a surplus. To quote from the PA Times article: they stopped picking up passengers and started picking up customers, they stopped offering a service and instead sold a product, rather than serving the public employee unions they began serving customers and tax payers. They began implementing performance standards, measuring productivity and linking pay to results. They basically began to run it like a business. In the end they have had 5 straight years of surpluses, they avoided layoffs, lowered fares, increased customer satisfaction and reduced reliance from tax payer dollars. This could actually happen in Massachusetts (theoretically) if there was a will to do it. Apparently CommonSense likes to do a lot of bending over say yes sir may I have another.

      3. CommonSense says:

        Oh right Fred, the Rochester New York transit system that is comprised entirely of bus routes (28 to be exact). A transit system which relays on roads, which means road repair and infrastructure are someone else’s problem.
        With the MBTA, you have a completely different animal. You have an agency that runs bus, light rail, heavy rail, commuter rail, paratransit and boats (though soon to be off loaded to Massport, as they should) transporting millions of people daily. The MBTA has to maintain its own widely varied equipment, infrastructure and rights of way. And lets not forget that the MBTA has to pay half of its income on DEBT that the STATE offloaded on it because of the Big Dig. Does this sound even remotely close to the Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority? I don’t think so.

      4. fred says:

        You said “no where in the world does a public transit system run on a surplus” and you were wrong. The reasons why the Rochester system is running at a surplus could be applied here as well to make it run more economically efficient. But I forgot, this is Massachusetts. Perhaps The Ride and the Ferry’s should be offered for bid to see if a private company could run them at a profit. I believe Hong Kong’s system operates at break even – so it can be done, just not here.

      5. CommonSense says:

        The Ride is federally mandated under the ADA. You’re a big dumb poopie head anyway.

      6. fred says:

        Typical liberal juvenile response. So since something is federally mandated it’s okay to run it the most inefficient and corrupt way possible.

  3. jak says:

    You really need to look at “The Ride” program. I am in health care and people abuse this service. People use this service that do not qualify. The MBTA needs to be the watch dog on screening riders for The Ride not there primary care physicians. Open your eyes MBTA!!!

  4. Greg Lemond says:

    If you take the bus daily but are an able bodied person, ride a bike instead, it’s quicker, better for you, and in a years time of just riding the bus too and frm work 50 weeks a year (assuming you take 2 vacation weeks which most people don’t), you will have paid off a pretty good used bike 3 times over, or even a pretty good brand new road bike off with a good ammount of change. Now if you take the train those figures are even bigger. Support your local bike shop (department store bikes are usually of poor qualit and assembeled incorrectly) and ride a bike, if enough people do this the t will lose money and maybe listen to people instead of driving away its customers

    1. Rob Cleary says:

      As long as they are registered, insured, pay taxes and use only dedicated bike paths that might work.

    2. tedro says:

      I wish I could ride my bike from east boston to gov center

  5. Don'tGetIt says:

    Why is the ride still operating? Millions were spent to make the system handicap accessible including new green line cars, ramps, elevators, kneeling buses, etc.

    I never see anyone using that handicap equipment – because they are all using the ride. Makes absolutely no sense. The T is not a chauffer service – they don’t pick the rest of us up at our front door.

    1. Scooby says:

      It is still operating because there are some people that truly need it. They cannot walk to their doctors office from the bus stop so they need that little extra ride.

      1. Rob Cleary says:

        It’s still operating because that is how Democrats buy votes. I would bet that less than 5% of Ride users need that kind of special service.

      2. web says:

        That’s not the only reason they get the ride. I know someone who took it back and forth to work because they picked her up at her front door. It was cheaper than the bus and right to her door at work…so its not just for doctor’s appts. She had a bad knee..walked, it jiust hurt.

    2. jak says:

      Please read my post regarding “The Ride” People who do not qualify and have Mass Health insurance get screened by their primary care physicans and all they need is a signuture and they get The Ride. The MBTA needs to be the one’s who do the screening.

      1. Scooby says:

        I do not think the MBTA should do medical screening but they should look more closely at the letter from the doctor. They should also say what conditions do and do not qualify for The Ride. Obviously anyone in a wheel chair would qualify or anyone who had a kid in a wheel chair.

    3. Italo says:

      You have to APPLY for The Ride and believe me (I processed the paperwork for my mom in her ’80s), I think an application to request a visa out of the former East Berlin must’ve been easier to process! And as it should be. They want every bit of information on why the applicant is requesting the service, where they live near transportation or not, all the medical maladies, their medication, etc., etc. You are just not given The Ride. If an elderly or disabled individual has trouble walking even out of their house, they are not going to be able to walk or get to a bus stop, or on and off of a train platform.

  6. Mike S says:

    And again, STILL no plan to cut expenses by reducing health and retirement expenses of MBTA employees ???? UNBELIEVABLE!!!

    1. Jane Howell says:

      Ditto that Mike S…. Everything in this State is out of control…why not the MBTA….

  7. Scooby says:

    They should definately set up a more stringent protocal for who can take The Ride. Just keep in mind there are some people who have a dissability you cannot see.

  8. Scooby says:

    That is a good idea in theory… riding a bike to work if you are able bodied however sometimes you just live too far from work.

  9. emom says:

    HAHHAAHAHA, so called it months ago.. GREEDY MBTA ceo and those in charge have created a dynasty to get RICH of the consumer . Just Wait we will see the next think layoffs, OH WAIT cutting service yup layoffs will commence,,, OH BVUT WAIT,,, in about 6 months or less they will begin working on some stations for upgrades at a whopping multimillion dollar figure and then they will plead with the state to allow to yet again raise rates to do it.. not to mention the possibility of hiring some new employees to create some new route or increase service to routes, yeah this up and down stuff is out of control… FIRE THOSE AT THE TOP THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING AND WELL ARE ABUSING THE FUNDS. I have to wonder now,,, would it be cheaper for some to actually drive their cars ,, especially some of the better gas milage cars,,, OH THE PARKING ISSUES THEN..

    1. CommonSense says:

      You are literally the worst person.

      1. emom says:

        really now,,,

      2. moterhed says:

        Why because emom is correct as well as Rob Commonsense? maybe in your world…

    2. web says:

      the gas is going up too…they get you at both ends..

  10. Scooby says:

    They also need to look at the bus drivers who let people ride not at full cost (“I don’t have the whole fare” excuse). It is nice of the driver to “help” someone out BUT they need to stop. How much more money would they have if the drivers didn’t do that. They also need to get more GOOD drivers. Willie at the WRTA is AWESOME!!! If there is a person in a wheel chair he helps make sure they are secure on the bus before he drives away. I have seen NO other driver do that.

  11. gray says:

    how do we find out what the 4 eliminated bus routes are?

  12. David says:

    The MBTA has been mismanaged for a long time. The first step is to Fire Management put in people who know what there doing.

  13. Mea says:

    That isn’t as bad as I had anticipated. I am glad we can put the worrying to rest. Yes, we will all have to come up with more money for the train but it’s really not as bad as I thought it would be. -Mea

  14. Enough says:

    Raise fares, but how about also cutting management staff that is not completely necessary, then cut bloated union wages and pensions (retirement after only 20 years in? Really? So start at 20, retire at 40 with full benefits, live until 80…… ridiculous).

    1. cramden says:

      It is retirement after 23 years at the lowest percentage…. 30 years for max…. And I agree with the cutting of some of the upper management. I am a bus driver for the T and feel that we are the backbone of the company! We actually work to bring in revenue.

    2. Scooby says:

      I agree, cut staff that is not needed (not what IS needed, like the drivers)!!!

  15. Lambie says:

    Mr. Cleary, what is your mode of transportation each day?
    What a society we have become.going after the handicapped and marginal who may have to go on welfare because they have no way to get to work., I aree that there should be inproved screening of clients of the Ride, but the legitimate clients should not be penalized.
    One last thought, I bet all those complaining or pointing fingers becaause of the cuts & fare raises are the very same people who go to Starbuck’s (once or twice a day) have an Iphone, Blackbury,an Ipad, a notebook and on and on. Any brown baggers for lunch ? It’s time to do a little triage on your spending prioities, Eh.
    No one is entitled including us. Stop inflicting your outrage and meaness on those who have no advocates. Those to whom much is given, much is asked.

    1. web says:

      I don’t buy coffee (brew my own), no iphone, blackbury, ipad nor notebook, etc. I am a frugal person, I coupon and hang my laundry outside to dry.
      I do think when times get tough, people start to withdraw in an attempt to protect themselves. This sometimes means accusing others, pointing fingers, etc., in an effort to maintain what we have. I think that’s pretty universal. I have done it myself. I don’t like it, but it exists.

      1. web says:

        oh, and I brownbag it every day…

    2. Rob Cleary says:

      Car or truck. Haven’t been on the congo cruise in forty years. Thew T is for the peasants

    3. ali says:

      Some of us work extremely hard just to pay rent. We can’t afford starbucks or ipads or blackberry’s and probably won’t be able to get to work or work related events if these cuts go through, that means a possible loss of job. So, don’t judge those of us on the T. We need it and are pretty angry about what has been happening with the upper echelons of management over the past years. And to think the previous gm gave catered lunches for the employees 5 days a week throughout the year and he has now been offered the head position of transportation in Hawai’i. Has any one warned that state what is headed their way?

    4. Italo says:

      Qualified applicants have sometimes had their Ride applications rejected 2, 3 or more times, before the applicant spells out every answer and bit of information that the reviewing office wants before they will consider approval. AND it is not a free or indefinite service for life, as many think.

  16. Lambie says:

    Web,you aret a breath of fresh air ! I am hopeful because there iare many more us out there..
    Just because we all have had our moments (including me) , doesn’t make it acceptable. Unfortunately, those who walk the walk are rarely recognized. A very special person in my life used to say … “We are all angels with one wing and we can only fly by embracing each other.” Okay, it’s corney – but think about it. Over the centuries/decades the American people, not the government, have supported one another through war, droughts and a depression.(1930’s) What have we lost that we cannot do the same? Think of it – all we’re being asked to do is to spend more on T fares and unfortunately for some, the inconvenience of T routes.To me, having to pay more is small compared to what others daily endure.

    1. web says:

      I try to remind myself, when I don’t get hotheaded, that it’s the tough moments, the hard times, that we need each other the most. Which is usually the opposite of what happens. I don’t mind paying my fair share, but I do think if we only filtered out the fraud and abuse (in most of our systems), we would have no budget problems (and then people would be more willing to share and give with the ones that need it most). A knee-jerk reaction is to ‘grab what’s yours and not share’.but in the long run, I agree, people do see each other through tough times, but they are usually very tough, and it is usally in the very-long-run…people just need to burn off some steam sometimes.

      1. Italo says:

        Perhaps the running and funding of The Ride can be taken away from the T and, instead, overseen by the Older Americans Act, so that its federal monies can be distributed more equitably to our Ride and similar services across the country, to states as block grants that are managed through Area Agencies on Aging, rather than through bloated statewide agencies such as (according to many) the MBTA.

  17. allym says:

    A subway ride is only $1.70 if you use a plastic Charlie Card, so I’m guessing it will be $2.30 going forward if you don’t have a C-Card?

  18. dan says:


  19. emom says:

    Oh and we now hear that this is a temporary fix that they will need to revisit this issue next year.. WAIT ON MINUTE. They have been revisiting this issue for the past 5 years or so… So when have they tried to fix the issue , instead they have raised the rates threatened to raise the rates. And then tell us they will need to cut off service to areas they deem no necessary… WOW.. Like they have even tried to correct the wrongs that have been going on for the past decade never mind the last 5 years, The greedy ceo and his staff are at fault, they have all these projects and upgrades and pass it alone to the riders . and Do you think the cost will not go up again next year.. I bet i will. A TEMPORAY FIX WHAT A SUPERFICIAL JOKE.. AND A HUGE SLAP IN THE FACE OF THOSE THAT DEPEND AND NEED THE MBTA. I bet at some point the governor will find a way to incorporate some kind of transportation tax to those that never or hardly use the MBTA. JUST WAIT. he has created so many taxes to gain money for his greedy needs whats stopping him from this.. AKA SUGAR TAX, PREMADE FOOD TAX, MANDITORY HEALTHCARE,,,,, Yeah just wait for it,,, transportation tax of some kind, heading our way to off set the greedy peoples expenses……

  20. Sick and Tired says:

    I find it absolutely absurd about the increases. Makes me want to take the T even less now than I do already. Getting to a point where it is cheaper to drive. They need to work on their on time efficiency and maybe even add some extra routes, there are NEVER enough buses to compensate for the amount of people who get off the rrains at Forest Hills. I don’t know about anyone else but sick and tired of having to ride the bus with 100 other people. Aren’t there fite laws or something? Between strollers and people standing in the aisles surprised people are able to get off where they want to.

  21. ali says:

    I agree with dan, in ma it is not what you know but who you know and It is time for ma to fire the T admin and hire out of state people who know what they are doing. It is also time for T employees to start paying at least a portion of their fare. When a company is in as bad shape as the T is there is no more free ride. The mbta has been so poorly mismanaged they are saying that next year will be the same as this with even more cuts and fare hikes. It is time for new management.

  22. taxedout says:

    Still no cut back on high saleries, or bennies. How abou the guy who opens and closes the doors on the second car, does he collect for the people who get on??? how about all the T retirees who get a pass, how much money there??? Keep paying…This Dog should have been privietized years ago, with people who know how to run a system. Just like the Casino board the state is setting up, 3/4 of them haven’t ever been in a Casino. Enjoy your fare increase!!!! I guess you can complain to the gov, when he gets back from vacation, book signing, and campaining for his buddy!!!

  23. EDAD says:


    1. emom says:

      WOW really now… reaching MUCH…..LOL

  24. RIVET says:


  25. emom says:

    I wonder what the upper management is driving these days. I hardly believe they would be riding the Red line, The ride, The commuter rail, or any of the trolly’s or buses,,,, What are they driving around in, a beat up Toyota, a 10 yo Mazda,,,, maybe a rusted out pinto,,, Or could they be driving around in a shiny new Lexus, Hybrid, A Denali, or some other expensive vehicle that eats gas every 10 miles.. Whats their communication device, CB radio or a blackberry or the best smart phone that is out there. What is the expense allowance like, Do they have credit cards courtesy of the state, 3 figure salaries , swanky mansion on the hill, New leather couch by any chance. or new drapes in his office,,, HHHMMMM,, I have to wonder, seems these upper management is willing to hurt the backbones of the operations, the employees and those that depends on them to cut back and fix a budget issue,, Has anyone ever thought of Looking at the books , NO REALLY looking at them… something seems very fishy. Cut backs this year and again next year, where is the rational thinking with that,,, OH sorry forgot they can not think,,, their brains have hit the third rail zzzzzzzzzzz frying .

  26. saintelle says:

    No wonder . I used to work for the Department of Transportation Access Pass, my manager’ was getting paid for 2 vacancies which one of them she hardly was in the offce. Maybe once every 2 weeks she would show up in the office. She was getting paid over $70000 for my department, don’t realy know how much she was getting paid for the one at 10 park plaza. An IT guy was also in the 80k per year. My supervisor was in the 70l also. And for what? Just to st around and do nothing. They need to stat cutting on their paycheck fist before thinking on raising the fare. Maybe if they dne so , there’s wouldn’t be a much deficy.

  27. Rob Cleary says:

    This morning at 2;30 am there were SIX MBTA vehicles parked on Von Hillerin st in Dorchester, each containing at least TWO sleeping T employees.

    They are there almost every night. Feel free to drive by and check it for yourselves.

    1. dan says:

      it is also like the give you an example..the dew came up to my house and replaced the pipes on my street…..the job was not done right the first time…SOTHEY CAME BACK ON A SUNDAY AT DOUBLE TIME AND A HALF..THAT IS WHAT WE ARE PAYING TAXES FOR…..WASTE!

  28. dan says:

    emom and saintelle.. i agree with you on this situation…but nothing is going to get done until the people of mass wake up and smell the coffee. 0R maybe a lot of people are on the take here!!!!!!!! think about it……

    1. emom says:

      Dan, unfortunately , There are many in this state that are looking for something that does not exist, CHANGE. every time we want something better well sadly prices and taxes go up,, and when that happens we scream UNFAIR… I know a few that are looking for change and are willing to vote for a person that is far worse go figure… The Mbta is so corrupt is mirrors the politicians in this state,,, wonder if they are patting each other on the back for a JOB WELL DONE…

  29. Violet Flaherty says:

    The Ride passengers are getting hit with 100% fare increase! Nothing like being punished for having a disability!!!

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