Tuesday, April 3, 2012
The proposed increases would be disproportionately detrimental to youth, seniors and the disabled, protesters say.
If the Department of Transportation passes its proposed MBTA fare increases Wednesday afternoon, Curtis Shelnut could face some difficult decisions, such as which dialysis session to skip or which medical appointment to miss. "This is my livelihood," Shelnut, who lives on St. Botolph Street, said of his access to medical services, which is provided by the MBTA's The Ride. "I'm speaking from the heart now. They cannot do this to us." Protesters: The State Should Pay Shelnut was one of a dozen or so protesters in front of the State House late Tuesday morning. The group is staging a 24-hour vigil to urge the Legislature to cover the MBTA's $91 million deficit. "Failed Forward Funding legislation and Big Dig debt have bankrupted the T and …
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Changes would take place July 1.
Charlestown bus and ferry service will remain as it is if the current Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority budget plan is approved this week, but ferry riders will see a sharp increase in fares. The transit authority announced that ferry fares will increase by 35 percent under the current plan. Other than that, Charlestown resident should see no change in their commuter boats—though the T would eliminate weekend ferry service to Quincy. Charlestown bus routes will similarly remain the same. Earlier versions of the MBTA’s plans called for eliminating the Charlestown Ferry and the 92 bus route, along with three other bus routes that pass through Charlestown. Overall, MBTA fares will rise 23 percent and four bus routes will be cut as part of …
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
The 'Fast Five,' a project of the T Riders Union in which members dress up as superheroes representing MBTA debt solutions, will be attending today's public MBTA Finance Committee meeting.
The Fast Five have attended multiple MBTA meetings in colorful garb, and today they're going to try and "take back our public transit system" during an open MBTA Finance Committee meeting with their proposals, which are matched 1-1 with each "superheroes'" identity. The meeting will be at today at 11 a.m. at 10 Park Plaza in Boston in the MBTA Boardroom on the third floor, and all are welcome to attend. For those who can't make it, here's a rundown on the Fast Five and what they represent, from their website: Snow Removal Man seeks to "Transfer MassDOT's snow removal funds to the MBTA, as a mild winter has left much of the money unused." MBCR Rock Star recommends we "Hold MBCR accountable for service!," since "in the past two years, …
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
The official public comment period on the proposed fare hikes and service cuts ended last night, but the Metropolitan Area Planning Council still has a point to make.
After months of debate over the MBTA's proposed Scenario 1 and Scenario 2 for cutting services and raising fares to meet their projected $161 million budget deficit, the period of public comment ended last night at the MBTA's final public hearing, held at a senior center in Brighton. In a Boston Globe article on the meeting, MBTA GM Jonathan Davis explained how they were going to move forward. According to Davis and the Globe, "neither of the two previously released scenarios will be selected by the agency’s board," but, "Instead, the committee that drafted those two proposals will take testimony from all of the hearings’ speakers and feedback from more than 5,600 e-mails and draft new recommendations." The MBTA board's monthly meeting …
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
MBTA riders gathered to express their sentiments regarding possible fare hikes and service cuts last night in the Somerville High School auditorium.
For many people who came to the MBTA's Somerville meeting last night, the transportation discussion didn't begin at the meeting at 6 p.m., but at the pre-meeting rally organized by Occupy Somerville and Groundwork Somerville. About 70 people gathered on Somerville High's front lawn at 5:30 p.m., waving signs and shouting slogans while community members spoke through a bullhorn. "Let the banks pay for this," said Matthew McLaughlin, a member of Occupy Somerville and Save Our Somerville, after explaining that several of the banks to which the MBTA is indebted were also the recipients of major government bailouts. This led to group cheers of "banks got bailed out, we got sold out," a slogan that resurfaced throughout the rally and meeting…
Lt. Gov. leaves Ferry Details to Richard Davey.
Lt. Gov. Tim Murray, while visiting Bunker Hill Community College Wednesday, called the proposed service cuts worrying Charlestown residents a legacy of The Big Dig. The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority, Murray said, had been saddled with Big Dig Debts “without having a way to pay for them.” “Let’s be clear eyed, we’ve got a funding challenge,” Murray said, adding that the state needed to have an “adult conversation” on how to deal with transportation funding in the future. Murray said he would leave specifics on how the T’s budget crisis should be dealt with—particularly in regard to the Charlestown Ferry—to Richard Davey, head of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. For this year, Murray said, he hopes that the state can …
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
MGH leaders worry what cuts would mean to Institute students.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
MGH Institute President Janis Bellack on February 8, 2012, sent the following letter detailing the Boston health sciences graduate school's reasons why the MBTA should not cut services, as it is considering. The institute then published the piece as an open letter last week. Dear MBTA Board of Directors: I am writing to you on behalf of the entire school community at the MGH Institute of Health Professions in the Charlestown Navy Yard. We are all very concerned about the proposed cuts in bus and ferry service to the Navy Yard. Since parking in the Navy Yard is very limited, our 1100 students and 165 faculty and staff rely on these vital services daily to get to class or come to work. Many faithfully take the F4 Long Wharf to Charlestown …
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
In an interview with the Boston Globe, State Transportation Secretary Richard Davey said the state is scrambling to raise enough revenue so that proposed service cuts can be scotched.
In a departure from proposals that would raise T fares and slash services to balance the T's budget, the state's top transportation official says his agency aims to raise enough revenue to avoid service cuts. Secretary of Transportation Richard Davey made the remarks to the Boston Globe. The about-face comes after thousands of people have turned out a public meetings to denounce the proposals. The two plans on the table would both eliminate the Charlestown Ferry. One of the plans would also eliminate the 92 bus. For the entire story, please visit the Boston Globe.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
MBTA Advisory Board plan 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. 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 The MBTA Advisory Board estimates that, taken together, it's proposal would…
House Republicans aim to restructure federal transportation budget.
While local groups argue with the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority about potential reductions to bus and ferry service, a proposal in Washington could worsen conditions for T riders. A Salon.com opinion piece reported this week that House Republicans have proposed a transportation bill that would eliminate the Mass Transit Account from the Federal Highway Trust Fund. Such a change could sharply impact the MBTA. “The House transportation bill represents a giant step in the wrong direction for transit systems all over the country,” said Rep. Mike Capuano, Charlestown’s federal representative. “The dedicated funding stream for mass transit projects, which has been in place for decades, is being eliminated. This will mean less money for …