Friday, March 23, 2012

Public comment period ends for MBTA proposal

The MBTA has wrapped up their public campaign to collect comments about the proposed service changes and fare hikes. They have published some statistics and general information about the public input in a slideshow. The highlights slide says:

•More than half, 51%, of all comments are from bus customers.
•A much larger percentage of customers oppose service cuts (78%) compared with those customers opposing fare increases (24%).
•More than 10% of replies support fare increases described in our proposals.
•Nearly 60% of comments call for the MBTA to maintain bus services.
•More than one fifth (21%) of comments call for the MBTA to maintain commuter rail service.
•17% of comments ask the MBTA to maintain ferry service.
Judging from the tone of the slides, and the fact that Davey indicates that some new plan will be proposed by April 4th, I get the feeling that they are trying to rationalize some kind of fare increase come this summer. I am disappointed that they did not categorize any letters calling for a legislative fix to forward funding, or returning the Big Dig debt to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts where it rightfully belongs. The MBTA seems to have tunnel vision on this matter; considering only fare increases or service cuts, even though neither can lead to a permanent solution for the problems of funding.

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