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MBTA Proposes 25¢ Fare Hike for Bus, Subway

By Lauren E. LeBon

ASSOCIATE NEWS EDITOR

Next winter, Boston commuters may be paying an extra twenty-five cents to use Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority buses and trains.

The MBTA has proposed to increase the price of public transportation fares by 25 cents, starting in January 2004.

The proposal suggests raising subway fare from $1 to $1.25 and bus fare from 75 cents to $1.

The MIT Parking and Transportation Office has not yet been contacted by the MBTA to discuss new rates for subsidized T passes.

Bostonians protest rate increase

The new rates proposal comes in response to 4.7 percent drop in the MBTA’s revenue last year, as reported in a March 16 article in The Boston Globe.

Before the new rates are established, the MBTA will hold public hearings in the fall to discuss the changes.

Already, Boston commuters are protesting the new rate suggestions, saying that the MBTA has provided no new services to justify the increase.

Protesters fear that the new rate increases will make the already severe traffic even worse. For example, the new phase of the Big Dig, which includes the opening of new lanes of I-93 on March 28, prompted Boston officials to urge commuters to use the T instead of driving.

The MBTA maintains that Boston public transportation fares are still the lowest in the country. Subway fare for New York City is currently at $2.

Fare increases may affect MIT

The Office of Parking and Transportation is not sure how the new rates will affect subsidized passes for students, faculty, and staff.

Joe Pesatoro, a MBTA representative, said that he is also unsure of how the new rates will affect semester passes.

“If it is increased I assume that the rates will go up,” said Larry R. Brutti, operations manager of the parking and transportation office.

In September 2000, the MBTA raised T fares by 25 percent. The rate hike was the first since 1991. The rates were established to increase revenue after the Massachusetts legislature changed the way the MBTA received funding.

In 2000, the MBTA allowed local institutions a two-month grace period to readjust their subsidized T passes.

During this period, MIT T passes went up from $7.50 to $9.50 for a bus pass, $13.50 to $17.50 for a subway pass, and $23.00 to $28.50 for a combo pass.