By Ling-Mei Wong
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority held a public hearing on proposed fare increases by an average of 5 percent on April 22 at the State Transportation Building.
Bus and subway CharlieCard fares will increase 10 cents for adults and five cents for seniors. Any MBTA fare increases are capped at 5 percent, based on Transportation Finance legislation enacted July 2013.
“The MBTA is the fourth largest transit agency in the United States,” said Joseph Cosgrove, MBTA director of development. Because of Boston’s public transit, more people use it instead of driving to work downtown, he said.
To make up for the MBTA’s budget deficit, the fare increase is expected to boost fare revenue by 4 percent or bring in $20 to $24 million, Cosgrove said. Ridership is projected to decrease less than 1 percent due to the fare increase.
Louise Parker, a senior member of the T Rider Union, said, “With increasing ridership, we need more buses. … We don’t want the fare cut on the backs of the lowest paid workers, such as the cleaning staff, by laying them off.”
Fares are unchanged for The Ride paratransit for individuals with a physical, cognitive or mental disability at $3 and $5. Student fares will not go up 5 percent. The student five-day monthly pass will be $26 from $25, while the student seven-day monthly pass will be $26 from $28.
Comments are accepted until April 30 and can be submitted online at www.mbta.com, by email at email@example.com, by phone at (617) 222-3200 and by mail at MBTA, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116, Attention: Fare Proposal Committee.
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