|©2012 Boston to a T|
This is the third and final proposal unveiled by MBTA officials that will help deter the T's projected $180 Million budget shortfall next fiscal year. This final scenario will be submitted for approval by the MBTA Board of Directors on April 4th and the new changes will go into effect on July 1st.
This plan was created after MBTA officials spent months traveling around the state asking customers their thoughts on T cuts and fare increases at a series of public meetings. "We’ve spent the last two months out at 30 hearings listening to customers, and our proposal I think reflects what we’ve heard from our customers," said MassDOT Secretary Richard Davey, “Overwhelmingly, we heard from folks that they were opposed to cuts in service."
This final proposal is much less drastic than the two scenarios that proceeded it. Under the new plan fares would be increased about 23% on the subway and bus system. A one way subway fare with a Charlie Card will hit a high of $2.00 and a one way bus fare with a Charlie Card will rise to $1.50. Also, a monthly link pass will be hiked up from $59 to $70.
The controversial service reductions that were laid out in the first two proposals are much less severe in this new scenario.
Under the plan the T will only eliminate four of its over 200 bus routes and reduce trips on 14 other routes. Weekend commuter rail service on the Greenbush, Plymouth/Kingston, and Needham lines will also be discontinued. Weekend green line E branch trollies will be stopping short of Heath and terminating at Brigham Circle station, allowing riders to reach the Longwood Medical Area and the MFA.
The the T's ferry service, which would have seen a huge reduction in service, will only see increased fares and the elimination of the Quincy ferry on weekends. Ferry fares will be raised about 35 percent
Along with the cuts in service and fare increases the MBTA has also found other sources of revenue to close their budget gap. They will be transferring $51 Million from the states Motor Vehicle Inspection Trust Fund (which is reserved for projects that will help improve air quality), $5 Million from the states snow and ice removal surplus, and $5 Million from leasing the North Station Garage.
According to MassDOT Secretary Richard Davey, although this proposal will help the MBTA close their projected budget shortfall for next year, it is only a temporary band aid and the agency is likely to be in the same position next year.
You can check out a full set of documents on the new proposal HERE
You can also see Richard Davey' and Jonathan Davis' letter to their customers HERE