Commuters using public transportation in Boston may soon face a price hike of nearly 20%. Proposed yesterday, these price increases will be the focus of public workshops and hearings in August. The proposal includes an increase in prices for both the subway and the commuter rail. Those using Charlie tickets or cash for the subway will fare the worst, no pun intended, with a price increase of $2.00 to $2.50. Under this proposal, Charlie Card users would face an increase of 1.70 to 2.00 per ride, while price of the unlimited monthly linkpass would rise from $59 to $69. Commuter rail passes could increase as much as 31$ per month. The MBTA also released a series of potential service cuts for buses, trains, and ferries.
A little over a week ago, the MBTA received a $160 million shot of relief from the state legislature. The MBTA has long suffered debt problems, and while ridership increased last summer with the rise in gas prices, it has fallen in the past year. With the economic downturn and loss of jobs, fewer people need to use the subway and commuter rail. An increase in prices is likely to only add to this decrease in ridership.
These fare hikes affect the people that need that money the most. Those riding the T are the people trying to save their money. To add to their frustration, these commuters will be faced with the fact that car commuters are not suffering. The planned toll increase on the Mass Pike was cancelled, and the gas tax proposed by the governor was not passed.