Boston residents expressed their concerns regarding the MBTA’s proposed 6.3 percent fare hike at a public meeting this week.
The crowded room of meeting attendees said they were very against the hike, expressing that it would be a hardship for low income and senior riders. They also said they should not have to pay more for a service that they feel is below par in standards.
“There are delays every day,” said Olivia Einhorn. “It’s truly embarrassing.”
The proposed fare increase would raise the price of a single ride on the T from $2.25 to $2.40 and a single bus ride would go from $1.70 to $1.80. The Monthly LinkPass and 7-Day LinkPass would also be affected.
“I don’t want to pay for something that is constantly breaking down,” said Einhorn.
Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu believes the MBTA should be free for all riders. “This would allow more access for working class families. This is what we should be pushing for,” she said.
However, the MBTA thinks the price hike is reasonable and fair. “It would allow for us to make the investments we need to and make the MBTA more reliable,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak.
Brookline State Rep. Tommy Vitolo brought a can of AriZona iced tea to make his point at the meeting.
“This cost 99 cents,” he said. “They haven’t raised their price in 18 years. It says it right on the can. What the good people at Arizona Iced Tea have figured out is if you don’t improve the quality of the tea, you don’t raise the price of it.”
He then opened the can and drank from it, causing an eruption of applause from the crowd of more than 100 people.
Residents suggested to increase state gas tax to help pay for improvements for the MBTA. That way the financial burden doesn’t fall solely on the riders.
If adopted, the fare increases would go into effect in July 2019. There will be four more public meetings about the price hikes in early March. See the schedule here. You can also submit your feedback online through March 7 using the MBTA Fare Proposal Comment Form.