Dozens Protest MBTA Fare Increase Scheduled for Monday
Dozens of people attended a protest on Boston Common Sunday afternoon to voice their opposition to MBTA fare hikes scheduled to take effect Monday.
Many people don't feel it's fair to pay more among all of the ongoing issues with the T.
"We need to stick together and put pressure on the state to make sure we are adequately investing in our communities," Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone said.
"Free to all" chants at the protest called for public transportation to be public, like libraries are.
Fare hikes have faced a lot of pushback, especially with recent derailments on the Green and Red lines and Red Line repairs that aren't expected to be complete until Labor Day.
"We are at a crisis in Massachusetts when it comes to public transit — it's not just that the T is falling apart. It's that it's driving people into cars, and traffic is getting worse by the day," City Councilor Michelle Wu said.
Bus fares are not included in this round of increases, but overall, commuters will see an average increase of close to six percent across the system. For example, fares for the T will jump to $2.40 for a one-way trip.
MBTA officials expect to bring in nearly $30 million of new revenue, which they say would help keep the deficit down.
"Train derailments happen because the tracks are aging, the infrastructure is getting old, some of these Red Line trains have been in service since way before I was born," Wu said. "And at that point we need to take a step back and say how do we find the long-term sustainable funding to make sure that we are fixing the T, and making it work for everyone and not just patching it together here and there."
Some fares will remain the same. This includes local bus one-way fare, local bus monthly pass, reduced one-way fares for local bus and subways, as well as reduced monthly passes for youth, student, senior and TAP.
More protests are expected for Monday. Participants plan to be at every station stop during the morning rush hour to get people to engage in this conversation.