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MBTA Riders Speak Out Against Price Hikes

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 MBTA wants to increase fare prices by more than 6 percent.

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.

8 Replies to “MBTA Riders Speak Out Against Price Hikes

  1. The hike isn’t that big. Everybody is paying a little bit more these days. More tolls on the roads. More taxes. Why should public transportation riders be any different?

    1. I think that the majority of people who ride public transportation would be happy to pay more IF the MBTA was provided RELIABLE SERVICE and maintained stations cleanliness. (Personally I am sick of dealing with leaks and greasy spots on the Haymarket Green line platforms, overcrowded trains and rarely on time buses). You choose to drive a car. Many people take public transportation because they do not own cars and need to get to work

  2. Regular increases are usually followed by ridership decreases and the management is always dismayed why they can’t cover costs. It’s always been notorious for its political patronage. Every time they increase fares, there is pretty much the same claims of unfairness, met with complete indifference. It’s pretty obvious that no one’s job there depends customer satisfaction. Job qualifications for a management job at the T should not depend on whose campaign staff you worked on.

  3. That’s what you get when you have an overwhelming pension payroll for people who retired at full pension after just 20 years with cost free medical and are living longer lives. God Bless America.

  4. When the MBTA employees are mandated to use the service to get to work vs. being provided cars, then perhaps they will actually see what the riders endure.

  5. People only get away with what you allow them to get away with. The MBTA is getting away with this because they know people depend on the service to get to work. Where is the Mayor & Governor? Why aren’t they stepping up to plate & asking the MBTA what improvements are going to made with this Price Hike?

    Roger you are right again.

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