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Group Plans Mass MBTA Fare Evasion [Poll]

A protest group aims to foster mass fare evasions on the MBTA on Friday in protest of the recent fare hike and service cuts.

While most commuters limit their protest of the T's recent fare hikes and service cuts to grumbling, one activist group is going the civil disobedience route.

"Boston Fare Strike" plans to do a mass fare evasion at Park Street station. If it goes as scheduled, it would mimic a previous rally in which dozens of protesters poured through the turnstiles at Park Street in June. Attached is video of that action.

But this time the free-ride seekers might have some more consequences to their protest. This week T police started issuing $50 tickets to people caught evading the turnstiles. The Transit Police made a point of posting news of their crackdown on their Twitter feed.

The fare evaders also have their social media networks up and running. "Boston Fare Strike" has a Facebook page and event listing, plus Twitter and Tumblr accounts.

Protesters put the T fare hikes and service cuts into the larger context of austerity measures being put in place in many Western democracies.

"The State House has refused to take the MBTA debt seriously, and we aren’t going to keep paying them if they continue to bring the T into a downward spiral," protester Julie Almond told Steve Annear of BostonInno.

T officials, naturally, aren't impressed. MBTA spokesperson Joe Pesaturo told Annear that the free riders's actions only worsen the T’s financial shape.

The protest is slated for 6-7:30 p.m. Friday at Park Street Station.

So what do you think? Is this innovative civil disobedience with a point? Does it send the wrong message about how to protest fare hikes?   

Caitlin Walsh July 13, 2012 at 07:26 PM
"Hmmm, The T's already broke enough, what's the loss of a few dozen fares to them?" I don't think this is the best way to get them to lower the fares. How about contacting Beacon Hill and asking them to re-distribute all that Big-Dig debt so it's not all on the MBTA to make it up?
Jay K. July 13, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Agree.

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