Important hearing Tuesday on MBTA fare increases and service cuts

The MBTA needs to hear from you about how the proposed fare increases and service cuts will affect you and your family as well as what you want them to do to address the transportation financial crisis. Please attend the Public Hearing on February 28 at 6 PM at Somerville High School. Before the hearing join the rally in front of the High School at 5:30 PM.

The proposed service cuts and fare increases do not solve the MBTA’s long term financial problems. A comprehensive transportation funding plan for transit as well as roads is needed to sustain transportation services in the state. View some possible solutions. Among the recommendations to raise revenue are:

  • Increasing the gasoline tax
  • Adding a Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) Tax
  • Increasing local funding for transit
  • Parking fees and taxes
  • Cross-subsidies for transit, (i.e. using a portion of Massport parking revenue)
  • Leveraging private investment
  • MBTA debt relief
  • MBTA operational efficiencies
  • Increasing fare revenue

Although the MBTA might need to raise its fares, another source of revenue could be an increase in the gas tax, which many states use to help fund its public transit. Massachusetts has not increased its gas tax since 1991 while there have been four MBTA fare increases since 1991.
The MBTA has made two proposals; both increase fares and reduce transit service.
“Scenario 1” proposes major fare increases to balance the T budget with some service cuts.
“Scenario 2” proposes drastic service cuts and fare increases and cuts to service – “Scenario 2” proposes eliminating six bus lines in Somerville; the MBTA would cut 101 weekday bus routes, 69 Saturday routes and 50 Sunday bus routes Under Scenario 2 buses to be eliminated in Somerville are:
Bus 80: Serves Tufts University, Ball Square, Winter Hill, and McGrath Highway. Under the MBTA’s “Scenario 2,” this route would be eliminated.
Bus 85: Serves Spring Hill and Union Square in Somerville on its way to Kendall/MIT Station.
Bus 90: Serves Davis Square, Highland Avenue and East Somerville on its way to Sullivan Station and Wellington Station.
Bus 92: Serves the Assembly Square Mall area and heads into downtown Boston. Under “Scenario 2,” service would be eliminated on weekdays and Saturday.
Bus 95: Serves the Ten Hills neighborhood along Mystic Avenue, the Mystic Housing Development and connects Medford to Sullivan Station. This route would be eliminated.
Bus 96: Serves Tufts University, College Avenue and Davis Square on its way to Harvard Square. This route would be eliminated.
Under the MBTA’s “Scenario 1,” Somerville would not face reductions to bus service. But there would be other service cuts.
Other service cuts
There would not make significant cuts to subway service, except for the elimination of weekend service on the Green Line’s E branch and the Mattapan High-Speed Line.
Both scenarios would eliminate Commuter Rail service on weekends and on weeknights after 10 p.m. 32 weekend and 3 weekday trains would be affected at Porter Square station. Ferry service would also be eliminated.
Fare increases and service cuts are proposed for The RIDE.
If you cannot attend the Public Hearing you can send your comments until the close of business on March 1, 2012 to the MBTA, by email:, by mail to 10 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116, Attention: Fare Proposal Committee and by phone: 617-222-3200/TTY 617-222-5146.