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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Death wish

The MBTA has certainly figured out how to put an end to those overcrowded trains and buses they've been bragging about.

We've been warned that the fare hike proposals likely to emerge would be Draconian, leaving room for a new proposal that would be more palatable for commuters who have abandoned their cars in the face of high gasoline prices. Well that proposal can't come soon enough.

The powers-that-be at the T have have two plans, each worse than the other: a 35 percent fare hike that eliminates 101 weekday bus routes or a 43 percent hike that eliminates 23 weekday and 19 Saturday routes. Both plans eliminate all commuter ferry service and commuter rail service on weekends and after 10 p.m. on weeknights.

Would you like to be burned at the stake of have your head cut off?

It seems pretty obvious Transportation Secretary Richard Davey and his successors at the T really do have a third plan in mind: a legislative bailout, a reality acknowledged by board member Ferdinand Alvaro in referring to the now failed effort to shift the T to a "forward funding" system and give it 1 percent of the sales tax to prevent regular fare hikes.
“Until the forward funding formula is fixed, we are going to have financial problems,’’ Alvaro said. “So it’s like we keep putting Band-Aids on every hurt, but we never really deal with the root cause. The only folks who can fix that are the governor and the Legislature."
Davey says that bailout is unlikely in the state's current climate, which can mean only one thing: change the climate with a proposal that is so awful lawmakers will have to cave.

It's a scenario more reliable than the bus and subway schedules that stand to be blown up.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish they had simply increased fares gradually every year. It's not like budget shortfalls this big sneak up overnight.

January 04, 2012 10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in Western Mass. No mass transit service in my town. Don't take my tax dollars and bail out overpaid corrupt MBTA employees, if you use the service pay for it. If the service isn't available to me I don't want the bill for it.

January 08, 2012 2:40 PM  

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