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YouSpeak: T Fare Hikes

What impact will the increase have on you?


Last week, after three months of often-contentious public hearings, the MBTA approved plans to increase T fares and monthly pass prices by an average of 23 percent, effective July 1. For those with a CharlieCard, subway rides will rise from $1.70 to $2, and bus rides will increase from $1.25 to $1.50. For those without a CharlieCard, subway fares will rise from $2 to $2.50 and bus fares from $1.50 to $2.

The MBTA argues that it’s been five years since they’ve hoisted fees and that the increase is necessary to close a looming budget deficit of $161 million. Critics say the increase, while far short of the 40 percent hikes that had been rumored earlier this year, will unfairly impact disabled riders who use the Ride, the T’s door-to-door vehicle service. Fares for that service will increase from $2 to as much as $5 per ride. Others argue that the fare hike fails to provide any long-term solution to the MBTA’s ongoing budget woes.

This week’s “YouSpeak” asks: What do you think of the T’s fare hikes?

YouSpeak” typically appears each Monday.

If you have a suggestion for a question we should ask, post it in the comments section below.

Nicolae Ciorogan

Nicolae Ciorogan can be reached at ciorogan@bu.edu.

3 Comments on YouSpeak: T Fare Hikes

  • Jane on 04.17.2012 at 9:27 am

    Personally, the fare hikes will not change my life or my behavior. I am employed and I purchase a monthly pass. However, what bothers me is that it will not change the behavior of the T subway and bus drivers who do not collect fares. My ride begins at Boston College and often the driver enters the car with no time to set up his/her fare box and, therefore, simply waves every passenger on without bothering to collect a fare. I recognize that the poor, disabled, some elderly and students will be adversely affected by the fare increases, which may be unavoidable, but not if the T’s own employees do not bother to collect the fares for the system that routinely runs in the red. Shame on the MBTA!

  • Transportation Planner on 04.17.2012 at 11:25 am

    to long/didn’t read: The MBTA can’t fix this on their own, they need the State Legislature to give them a new source of revenue. Fares should probably be raised too, the MBTA is dirt cheap compared to other cities.

    long version:
    The opinions expressed in this video show a colossal failure by the MBTA to educate people about why this is happening.

    While the MBTA’s budget problems are partly the result of mismanagement (skyrocketing costs of retirement and health benefits, loan refinancing), these issues were largely resolved with the transportation reforms that created MassDOT in 2009.

    What is mostly responsible for the MBTA’s predicament is its substantial debt burden and under-performance of revenue sources. These issues cannot be resolved by the MBTA (except for by cutting service and increasing fares), they can only be solved by the State legislature. Instead of protesting at MBTA meetings to prevent fare increases, we should be protesting outside the State House. The MBTA needs a new source of revenue like a vehicle miles tax, increase in the gas tax, or a greater portion of the sales tax. The gas tax and part of the sales tax already go to transportation but have not been raising enough revenue.

    The gas tax is not indexed for inflation and hasn’t been raised since the early 90s. Inflation and the increasing fuel efficiency of automobiles causes the gas tax to raise less and less revenue over time. (Increasing fuel consumption from more people driving has not offset inflation+greater fuel efficiency.) We should AT LEAST index the gas tax to inflation.

  • matt on 05.02.2012 at 9:39 am

    Has the MBTA or an outside organization looked into implementing a distance based cost? For example the DC Metro. Pay for the distance you travel on the T. I’ve had conversations numerous times with people starting with ‘why did you drive instead of taking the T?’ and it goes back to ‘it’s cheaper to drive 2 miles round-trip and park than to take the T two ways at $3.40 total. I’m guilty too, I’ve done it..it makes financial sense. But, if it cost me $1.50 round-trip, you’d bet I’d take the T. Just food for thought. If there’s information out there, please send it my way.

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