MIT to Subsidize All MBTA Passes
MIT approved a $10 monthly subsidy for employee MBTA passes on Monday.
By Shang-Lin Chuang
A program to subsidize all employee MBTA passes by $10 a month was approved on Monday by Senior Vice President William R. Dickson '56.
All Institute employees who are paid directly by the Institute, including graduate teaching assistants and research assistants, but who do not have a parking sticker would be eligible for this subsidy regardless of the type of pass purchased, said Senior Planning Officer for Institutional Research Lydia S. Snover, a committee member.
On-campus residents are not eligible, said Geoffrey J. Coram G, co-chair of the Graduate Student Council Housing and Community Affairs.
The details of the subsidy have not been decided but should be worked out in the next two or three weeks, Snover said.
The target implementation date is the beginning of September, said Andjelka Kelic G, the graduate student representative to the committee.
Subsidy helps alleviate parking
The program, proposed by the Institute Parking and Transportation Committee, would help the Institute "comply with the clean air standards, as an encouragement for the use of mass transit," Coram said.
"It is important to encourage people to use the public transportation," said Professor of Chemistry Alexander M. Klibanov, chair of the committee.
"This program has been under consideration for the past 20 years," Snover said.
"There has been a lot of pressure on the Institute from the government to use the public transportation," Klibanov said. "Until the subsidy was passed, MIT was one of the few large employers that have not provided this kind of assistance to its employees. This action will help fill the gap."
The Institute has limited parking resources which have to be used efficiently, Snover said. That caused the cost of parking to be raised and the subsidy to be created to help alleviate the problem.
"It is still very hard to tell how much the program will cost the Institute since we don't know how many people will take this option," Klibanov said. "What we are doing is an experiment. The committee will re-evaluate the program in a year or two. This is by no means the final solution."
The subsidy program could cost MIT up to $500,000, Snover said. "But it is the right thing to do. The administration needs to be praised."
Existing discount used by 400
The GSC set up another T pass discount program a couple of years ago, Coram said. This year, the Cashier's Office took over selling and distributing the passes under that discount program.
Participants in this program get an 11 percent discount for pre-purchasing a semester's worth of passes, Coram said. On-campus residents and people with parking stickers are also eligible for this discount.
About 400 people took part in the program this past semester, he said.
In fact, the success of this program helped persuade the administration to approve the subsidy, Snover said.
Someone who receives the $10 subsidy will not be able to also receive the 11 percent discount, Coram said.
The deadline for pre-purchasing fall semester's T pass with the 11 percent discount is August 16, Coram said.