Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Back on the Train Gang

I'm back! Due to a combination of late nights, work travel and vacation, I haven't ridden the commuter rail in nearly a month. But, I'm back on the train now .... and just in time for the fare increase!

News of the impending MBTA fare hike is all over the media, with a proposed 19.5% overall fare increase. Riders who have a Charlie ticket can expect a 50-cent increase, riders who have a Charlie card can expect their fares to increase by 30 cents. Here are the proposed fare increases by zone for the commuter rail: zone 1-3 will increase by 75 cents per trip and zones 4-8 will increase by $1.00 per trip.

Awesome, my zone 8 monthly pass is going to go from $250 to $280. This is in addition to the fact that I now pay $4 a day to park. It's so frustrating. Even though the sales tax is increasing in order to give the MBTA about $160 million, they're still going to raise fares and reduce service.

Here's what we can expect on the Worcester-Framingham line for service cuts: eliminate weekday service after 7:00 PM, eliminate all weekend trains. Unbelievable. There is no way I can take the train, I do not usually leave work now until 7:30, so I will definitely have to drive. I love how the MBTA wants to eliminate some redundant stations, but have no plans to close any of the Wellesley stops. Really, why does Wellesley need three stops? Isn't even one of those stops redundant?

Needless to say, I might consider van pooling or car pooling now, this totally stinks. Oh, we do have the ability to attend some public hearings to voice our concerns: Monday, August 10 at the State House from 4:00 - 7:00, Tuesday, August 18 in Framingham at the Town Hall from 6:00 - 8:00 PM and Wednesday, August 19 in Worcester at Union Station from 6:00 - 8:00 PM. (There are other times/dates as well).

A PDF "highlighting" all of these changes can be found here.