Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Fare Heights and Service Cuts on the Way - Again

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!


  1. A few ideas:

    I think creating zones would help so that a short ride could be 50 cents and a long ride would be $6.

    Decrease the number of busses on routes that have bunching.

    Charge extra money to people who wear funny hats:)
    Instead of eliminating bus routes, decrease the service so that only one bus covers the whole route.

    1. Zones would definitely benefit the system! I would take the T more often if I could go a couple of stops for 50 cents. But if they charged more money for weird hats, I would curse the MBTA! Weird hats forever!

  2. As of May 2018: The bus fares are 1.70 and subway 2.25 with Charliecards. Has the problem been fixed?


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