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New Proposal Would Avoid Service Cuts on MBTA

The MBTA Advisory Board proposed a plan that would raise fares by 25 percent, shift some costs to other state agencies and institute some thought-provoking fees and changes.

The MBTA Advisory Board, which provides public oversight of the MBTA, has presented a new plan—some might call it a third option—for dealing with the MBTA's in fiscal year 2013.

The plan comes amid  over put forth by the MBTA that would substantially raise fares and cut service on Boston's public transportation network. In recent weeks, thousands of angry T riders have attended public hearings around the Boston area to protest those proposals.

MBTA Advisory Board plan

Under the advisory board's plan, there would be no service cuts, and the fare increase would be less than with the MBTA's two current proposals.

Here are some highlights of the plan:

Here are some of the more creative ideas

  • $10 charge per year on college students in the area
  • $0.50 surcharge on tickets for big events, like sporting events, concerts and theater performances
  • Reinstate alcohol advertising
  • Charge institutions that have a station named after them (for example, charge Harvard University for Harvard Station and the Museum of Science for Museum of Science Station. The proposal lists 18 institutions that have stations named after them and suggests it would raise $2 million from this initiative)

The MBTA Advisory Board estimates that, taken together, its proposal would find $170.6 million in savings and revenue in fiscal year 2013.

The Board also emphasized its proposal was a short-term solution, meant to buy time while state officials craft long-term solutions to the MBTA's financial woes.

For full details of the proposal, please see the attached PDF.

Anita Anger February 16, 2012 at 11:58 AM
A question: does anyone know if MBTA officials have contacted other big city public transportation systems to see what works for them? Do we always have to re-invent the wheel? Are all other public transportation systems in the red?
Jen February 16, 2012 at 03:55 PM
all the options are still in the realm of worker and rider sacrifices. let's get the matter of negotiating with bond holders, and restructuring this debt, on the table! there's no reason lender sacrifice can't be part of the solution.
Anita Anger February 16, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Jen, you're at the heart of the matter. Thanks! The rest is put together to protect lenders, etc. Have you seen any efforts to do what you suggest? I haven't, but perhaps I've missed them.
Lauren P February 16, 2012 at 08:34 PM
http://www.mbta.com/uploadedfiles/About_the_T/Fare_Proposals_2012/MC12149%20Fare%20Increase%20Booklet_v7.pdf the first few pages go over restructuring and expediencies that the MBTA already has implemented. while i agree that perhaps more may need to be done we do need to acknowledge that debts and bonds do have to be paid. they are legal contracts.
Anita Anger February 16, 2012 at 08:56 PM
Thank you for this document Lauren. It helps a lot. Yes, debts must be paid. Shareholder bonds? Also part of the "sacrifice?" Management salaries and bonuses, too? Chapter 11? I'm no lawyer, but if that can be done perhaps it ought to be considered. Who was in charge when all of these obligations were incurred? Big Dig?

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