The Boston Metro wrote extensively about the rate increase and commuter impact in today's edition. Especially in light of current economic conditions, even an extra $2 per day impacts riders.
Per the article, from the MBTA's perspective the economy is partially the reason rates are going up, T officials say. I wish they would just come out and say that they have to pay the union's back wages and this is the only way they can do it. All of us riders know that is the case, I'm not sure why the MBTA is hemming and hawing on that fact.
I thought this was telling as well (and hints at a possible fare increase), "Though ridership went up this year due to high gas prices, the T’s fuel costs have outpaced the extra revenue, and the agency said its financial woes “cannot be offset simply through internal cost cutting and existing revenues.”
I guess the one silver lining is that the MBTA is "looking into" cash alternatives for the fare boxes at suburban lots.
Some of the alternatives:
- The T is looking to expand the use of FAST LANE transponders, which can now only be used at the Route 128 garage.
- Implementing automated fare collection technology throughout the system so that all modes of transportation — as well as parking fees — can be paid with by a CharlieCard. The T hopes that plan option will be in place by 2011.
So, only three more years of stuffing dollar bills into the slots. Awesome.
Sadly, I guess it doesn't really matter how much we complain, the hike is going into effect.