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POLL: How Would the MBTA's Changes Affect You?

The MBTA is proposing three scenarios that would result in higher fare prices and/or reduced service.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's recently-proposed cuts to service and increase in fare prices have created a bit of stir in the last few weeks. 

Due to the its $161 million budget shortfall in fiscal year 2013, the MBTA has proposed two scenarios to help deal with the debt, both of which include elimination of several bus routes, all ferries, and commuter rail service after 10 p.m. and on weekends.

The first scenario would comprise an increase in fares by 43 percent, while the second would include an increase in fares by 35 percent, but with drastic cuts to bus service. 

But the MBTA is now weighing a third option that would involve no service cuts, and fare increase would be less than with the MBTA's two current proposals.

That third scenario would comprise a 25 percent fare increase, and would shift the cost of security to the State Department of Public Safety. Massport, meanwhile, would bear the cost of ferry service, and there would be no pay raises among the MBTA for FY '13.

Either way, a change will occur, and we're wondering how you as residents and commuters feel about the situation. Let us know your thoughts by voting in today's poll and weighing in with comments below.

John Moynihan February 27, 2012 at 01:00 PM
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and so I offer you this recent Wasserman cartoon http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/editorials/2012/02/26/editorial-cartoon-funding/NOL7aVnl5xMyCwKIBAMnIJ/story.html# Also a reminder that there will be a Community Forum on transportation on Wednesday March 7. See Steve Iannaccone's recent blog
Donna Albino February 27, 2012 at 02:07 PM
I agree with John Moynihan. I'm not sure why we expect the T to pay for itself, when we publicly fund many other projects that serve the public good. We don't expect kindergarten to pay for itself, for instance. Why the T?
Olaf Faeskorn February 27, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Donna, Education funding is a whole other issue and would be a seperate discussion. But maybe we SHOULD expect Kindergarten to pay for itself. At least in the sense that schools have to stay within their budgets and remain transparent in what they spend their money on, how they spend the money and what the outcomes are. Same with the MBTA. Things will turn into even more of a free-for-all if we let them keep double and triple dipping the public without clearly showing what really happens. If they need more money and have a mid-term plan on how to fix things I'm ok with paying higher fares. I'm not ok with them now asking for more tax money. It's a transparency problem. If we keep doing this we'll turn into Greece. The fact that something can be considered a "public good" shouldn't result in unions and leadership thinking that they can do whatever they feel like. To what extent the MBTA is a "public good" is a seperate question. Just because something is very important doesn't mean it's a public good. We don't think of Stop&Shop and Market Basket as "public goods", do we?
john February 27, 2012 at 04:55 PM
It's basic business. If your loosing money, and have a solid source of income, raise your prices. That's life. We pay more and more for everything year after year.
Dick Hewett February 28, 2012 at 12:07 AM
I suggest that the MBTA comes under the term "infrastructure" in that with fewer trains, people will use their cars more, and the roads will come under more strain so needing more repairs. Guess who ends up paying for them? To those who declare that the MBTA must support itself, I seriously suggest you do a bit of homework first. Rail transportation worldwide has always needed subsidies of one kind or another and before you quote the "privatized" system in the UK, I would enlighten you by saying that the infrastructure maintenance and one of the main arterial routes reverted to public ownership having failed under privatization. It's also interesting that the company currently running the Commuter Rail is a company that was thrown out of the UK system after they messed up a high density franchise before being hired by the MBTA! I would, on the other hand, agree that a more enlightened attitude is needed from MBTA management and staff. It seems to me that the issue is not money but attitude and culture - much more difficult to change.

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