LTE: Lower-income riders’ lifeline hangs in balance of T’s funds gap

Date: Monday, June 4, 2012
Publisher: Boston Globe /
Author: Kristina Egan

Lower-income riders’ lifeline hangs in balance of T’s funds gap

We hope that the optimism of legislators expressed in the article “Lawmakers yet to agree on bridging T funds gap” (Page A1, May 29) translates into the allocation of the money needed to cover the MBTA’s deficit.

Lower-income residents, who rely on public transportation as their sole way to get to jobs, education, health care providers, child care, and even basic things such as grocery shopping, are already bracing for the scheduled fare increase in July. The proposed funding would prevent further service cuts or fare increases greater than those that are already expected. Without legislative action this month, more people will be priced off the system while others could be stranded from lack of service.

The measure would also provide $6.5 million to regional transit authorities that face their own pressing funding challenges, and have proposed service cuts and fare increases.

We should all be clear that the proposed funding is only a stopgap solution for this fiscal year. Next year, the MBTA faces another deficit of at least $100 million. We hope that lawmakers will create a sustainable funding solution that will eliminate these structural deficits and help both the T and the regional transit authorities better serve our communities.

Kristina Egan
Transportation for Massachusetts
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