Transportation For Massachusetts Applauds Commuter Benefit Provision

Transportation for Massachusetts, a statewide coalition of 58 member organizations working for a modern transportation network, applauds the Commuter Benefit provision in recent federal legislation that will ensure permanent parity for public transportation and bike commuters.

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Statement on Governor Baker’s Control Board Decision to Raise Fares by 9.3%

We are deeply disappointed by the Baker Administration’s decision to increase fares by nearly 10%. Raising prices won’t rebuild the MBTA. It will push over six million riders off transit next year, moving our region backwards. Governor Baker’s Control Board has made the choice to significantly increase fares, despite poor service and despite having adequate savings and state funding to close its budget gap. 

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The Five Percent Solution

Governor Baker’s MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board will soon vote on fare increases. The Control Board should settle on an increase of no more than 5% for three simple reasons. It comes down to respect, responsibility, and doing what is right.

 

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Time is not right for large T fare hike

[Cross-posted from Commonwealth Magazine]

By Vivian Ortiz and Charlie Ticotsky

The MBTA asked the public what it thinks of the agency’s proposal to raise overall transit fares by as much as 10 percent and the cost of some passes by as much as 23 percent. And the public has spoken:

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26 organizations urge the MBTA to hold fare increase to 5%

26 members of the Transportation for Massachusetts Coalition have co-signed a letter urging the MBTA to respect the 5% cap on fare increases.  Let's Keep Fares Fair!

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A 10% fare hike for the T is too much

Anything above 5% is a social inequity

By Dr. Katherine Gergen Barnett, writing in CommonWealth

As the bitter cold has returned to the streets of Boston, I have been driven into the warmth of the T more than once on my bike commute home from the hospital. The scene there is familiar – workers weary at the end of the day, parents with children swaddled in snow pants, young adults making their way. The English language is wrapped into many other languages, many of which I now recognize from my 11 years working at Boston Medical Center, New England’s largest safety net hospital.

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In Boston, Student MBTA Passes Are an Equity Issue

[From The Huffington Post]

By Ayele Shakur

On Tuesday, February 2, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) will hold a Public Hearing to unveil its proposal to hike Student T Pass fares from $26 to $32 per month. It's no secret that the T is suffering from significant financial and structural problems, including a $242 million budget deficit and aging trains that often fail to run in cold and snowy conditions. But many parents are already struggling to send their children to school, and finding the extra money for a fare hike seems like an unfair burden.

 

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MBTA Riders Are Holding Up Their End of the Bargain

[Cross posted from the Frontier Group]

How will we know when the MBTA is fiscally back on track?

In its annual report to the Legislature (PDF), released in December, Governor Charlie Baker’s Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB) proposed a standard: “The FMCB calls for annual growth rate in MBTA operating expenses to align with the annual rate of revenue growth,” the board stated.

Over the last decade and a half, one major source of T revenue has actually grown at a faster rate than operating expenses: transit fares.

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Boston Is Growing Fast. So Is Ridership on the MBTA.

Cross-posted from Frontier Group

Transit ridership grew faster in the Boston area between 2008 and 2014 than in any of America’s other top 10 transit cities. Since 2000, MBTA ridership has grown nearly twice as fast as the region’s population.[1] On some parts of the MBTA system – especially the subway – ridership growth has been even more rapid, resulting in crowding that often makes riding the T an unpleasant experience.

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From Commonwealth Mag: "RTAs taking the wheel"

WHILE GREATER BOSTON AGONIZES over the multibillion-dollar MBTA project to extend the Green Line a mere five miles, another transit tug-of-war is going on across the rest of the state. The Bay State’s regional transit authorities have their own expansion dreams, albeit modest ones. Their dreams don’t involve complex rail construction contracts or splashy station designs; they generally want to add a bus route here or there or launch Sunday service. Mostly, they sense a growing need and want to satisfy it. 

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