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MBTA Fare Hikes Spark Protest

Refusal to properly fund public transportation is leading to sharp fare increases for MBTA riders. The MBTA is proposing 25% fare increases on the subway and 33% fare increase on the buses. Monthly passes would also go up by 25%.

The campaign to Beat the Fare Increase is a rapidly expanding effort to halt the fair increases. More information on the effort is available from Jodi Sugerman-Brozan at Alternatives for Community & Environment,, 617-442-3343 x23 or [email protected] or Khalida Smalls, coordinator of the T Riders Union (TRU) at 617-442-3343 x2 or email [email protected].

Below is a story on the fare increases that appeared in the Boston Globe.

Group challenges T’s fare hike
Fears price jump will hurt the poor

By Thanassis Cambanis, Globe Staff, 7/11/2003

A coalition of community groups yesterday appealed to the MBTA’s board of
directors to cancel a 25 percent fare increase that will raise ticket prices
on buses, subways, and commuter rail beginning in January.

The T board approved the fare increase in March, but the antifare coalition,
On the Move, argued that state law prohibits a price hike if ridership has
fallen more than 4 percent. T officials say ridership has only fallen 3
percent, but the group says the T has not presented compelling evidence to
support the assertion.

”The time to raise fares is not when ridership is decreasing,” said Jodi
Sugerman-Brozan, program director at Alternatives for Community &
Environment, a member of On the Move. ‘&#039A better way to increase revenue is
to raise ridership and do that by improving service.”

Because of the MBTA’s fiscal woes, officials say they must raise fares,
which are among the lowest in the nation. The fare hike will generate $25
million in additional revenue, according to MBTA General Manager Michael H.
Mulhern Without it, he said, the T would be forced to cut service.

But On the Move, in announcing its ‘&#039Beat the Fare Increase” campaign
yesterday, said the MBTA had not proven, as required by state law, that it
had fully explored other ways of covering its budgetary shortfall. The group
argued that a fare increase would further hurt ridership, increase pollution
by encouraging people to drive rather than use mass transit, and would
disproportionately hurt poor riders who have no other alternatives.

”We don’t believe they’ve exhausted all options for additional revenue,”
Sugerman-Brozan said. ”Here they are facing a little bit of fiscal trouble,
and they’re putting it on the backs of riders once again.”


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