As we all know, the MBTA is in serious debt. As we also know, fares rose 25% last year. Well, the fares are rising again – this time by 33%, on top of the fare raise from last year! There are actually two options: the 33% fare raise, or a smaller fare increase with large service cuts.

A 33% fare raise would generate $130 million for the MBTA. Unfortunately, it would be a significant difference: a bus ride would be $2 over the current $1.50, and taking the train would cost $2.60 over $2.00 now (and that’s with a CharlieCard!) However, this would reduce ridership by about 8% (go figure).

The other option is a smaller fare increase, but with service cuts. Some options for this are:

  • The elimination of the 30 least used buses in the system, as well as the 6 buses in the 700s (buses operated by other companies)
  • The cancellation of weekend T service (!)
  • The cancellation of weekday T service after 11 PM
  • The elimination of Commuter Rail service on weekends

According to the senior director of strategic initiatives and performance at the MBTA, Charles Planck, the most cost-effective service cut is eliminating bus routes, since the MBTA would actually lose money from fares with the other options.

The MBTA is also considering raising parking costs, putting more ads around the system, and cutting senior and student discounts. Other possibilities are cutting back service of the RIDE (a service for people with disabilities) and getting rid of vehicles on its fleet.

Which of the options do you think the MBTA should choose? Or do you have an entirely different solution? Leave your comments below!