MBTA: Fare and Service Proposals Public Meetings Begin
MassDOT encourages members of the public to “join the discussion” and attend public meetings beginning next week regarding the proposed fare increase and service reduction plans for the MBTA aimed at closing a projected $161 million budget gap for fiscal year 2013.
Public meetings on the proposals next week include:
- Tuesday, January 17, Newton: 5:30-7:30 PM Newton City Hall, War Memorial Hall, 1000 Commonwealth Avenue
- Tuesday, January 17, Worcester: 6:00-8:00 PM Public Library, Saxe Room, 3 Salem Square
- Wednesday, January 18, Chelsea: 6:00-8:00 PM Public Library, Auditorium, 569 Broadway
- Thursday, January 19, Boston (Roxbury): 6:00-8:00 PM Roxbury Community College, Auditorium, 1234 Columbus Avenue
In order to fully engage transit users in the process, the MBTA will host more than 20 public hearings The list of meetings times and locations is now available at www.mbta.com/jointhediscussion
A final fare increase and service reduction recommendation will be made to the MBTA’s Board of Directors this spring and changes will be implemented on July 1, 2012.
The MBTA has taken aggressive steps to reduce the deficit: reducing energy purchase costs, planned introduction of single person train operation on the Red Line, encouraging MBTA employees to enroll in more affordable health insurance plans and other operating and administrative efficiencies. However, growing debt service costs associated with capital projects, significant increases in maintenance costs for an aging fleet and higher costs for the RIDE mean additional solutions are necessary.
In addition to rising operating costs, annual revenues continue to be insufficient to fund the system. Sales tax revenue allocated to the MBTA has increased by only 0.08% annually since fiscal year 2001, resulting in growing budget gaps since the original projections were made with the expectation of forward funding. While the MBTA was a beneficiary of the 2009 sales tax increase, the annual growth in sales tax revenues is not enough to address continuing increases in the cost of service on all modes.
As only one of two transit properties in North America that has not raised fares over the last five years, the MBTA has worked hard to identify ways to save money and reduce costs, while improving customer service. From investments in accessibility improvements to use of modern technology to improved transparency, the MBTA is committed to responding to the needs of its customers.
The Fare Increase and Service Reductions Study is available at www.mbta.com.
The MBTA’s public outreach process begins immediately with the acceptance of public comment through March 1, 2012 electronically at mbta.com, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, via mail to MBTA, Ten Park Plaza, Boston, Ma 02116, Attention: Fare Proposal Committee, and by phone at 617-222-3200/ TTY (617) 222-5146
Public meetings including one hearing will be held beginning January 17 through March 6. A complete list of meetings times and locations is now available at www.mbta.com/jointhediscussion