T4MA Speaks Out on MBTA’s False Choice Between Fare Hikes and Service Cuts

Karen Wood

As the public hearings on the MBTA’s proposals for fare hikes and service cuts continue across the Commonwealth, Massachusetts Transportation Secretary Richard Davey is telling the media that he’s hearing that  T riders would rather pay more than have their service cut. Speaking on behalf of Transportation for Massachusetts (T4MA), CLF staff attorney Rafael Mares said that Secretary Davey’s remarks are disappointing, if not surprising, given the false choice the MBTA has given transit users.

Mares  said, “The MBTA has backed transit users against a wall, asking them to choose between two unacceptable scenarios. A fare increase may seem like the lesser of two evils to those who have a choice. But, what about those who can’t afford the increases and won’t be able to get to their jobs, or school, or a doctor’s appointment because they rely on public transportation? The MBTA has created a false choice between draconian service cuts and drastic fare increases. The reality is it’s a lose-lose situation for transit users and Massachusetts. If Secretary Davey is hearing a chorus of ‘I would rather pay more but not cut the service,’ it wasn’t singing at any of the hearings we’ve been attending.”

Mares continued, “The proposed fare increases and service cuts are unfair and only a band-aid. The MBTA’s proposals give the legislature a free pass, balancing the books solely on the backs of the riders. These proposed measures will push people off the T and into their cars, or leave them without any transportation at all. We need long-term solutions that share the burden of a working transportation system among everyone who benefits from it, which is to say everyone in Massachusetts. T4MA is calling on the legislature and the administration to immediately identify funds to reduce the T’s projected deficit and develop adequate, sustainable funding for transportation so we’re not repeating this conversation again next year.”

To read a copy of the original statement, click here.

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