As promised, MBTA renews yearly threats to raise fares, cut service

Back in December, MBTA officials warned they'd have to make their annual spring pledge to cut service and raise fares unless the legislature decided to give it more money. The legislature did nothing and so yesterday, MBTA officials warned they are looking at either 33% fare hikes or lower increases coupled with the possible elimination of all weekend service and weekday service after 11 p.m. and the end of 30 bus routes.

The Outraged Liberal posits it's past time for the legislature to end the annual game and come up with a funding scheme that doesn't leave commuters hanging for months at a time wondering if they'll have to budget more for their daily rides.

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is the comments section broken?

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Three hours after Adam lights this flame and no comments? I guess by now we are all just immune to the annual Chicken Little show that our local governments and agencies put on every year?

Funny...

I was just thinking the same thing. My first reaction when I heard it this morning on the news was, "Must be that time of year again."

...even the legislature knows something must be done

The legislature is just figuring out what they're going to do, what it'll cost and what kind of a tax increase they need to fund it. The governor knows we need to address all of the deferred improvements on transportation across the state, including public systems and roadways, and not just MBTA.

So eager to embrace Casinos last year (a special interest if ever there was one) this legislature wont even talk about investing in education, a clear benefit for the general welfare.

Meanwhile they want to revisit food assistance -- EBT -- fraud and DTA reform, which they spent months on last year.

So have we heard or seen the

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So have we heard or seen the new GM since she was foisted upon us by nepotism at the national level? Or the governor trying to keep her out of sight and out of mind?

Buried in the middle of the

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Buried in the middle of the alarmist scare tactics (really, they're not going to shut down the entire transit system on weekends) is one suggestion that makes sense:

Reducing the number of conductors on commuter rail trains.

I recently rode an off-peak train. It had 6 cars, but only 2 of them were open. I saw 3 conductors, plus the engineer.

Why doesn't someone take a stand against this pointless waste?

If they could get costs down, maybe it would be financially feasible to run some more trains, and try to have a useful schedule without 2 hour gaps.

Nice find

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FRA-style commuter rail is infamous for overstaffing. Inefficiency: it's the American way.

Salaries

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Cut the salaries, pure & simple. There's no way that anyone performing menial labor jobs like driving a train or punching a ticket should be making over minimum wage. If you didn't go to college and get an education in order to start a real career, that's your problem, not mine. You're at your station in life for a reason.

It's time to stop sugarcoating all of this, and just realize that we're not all meant to be living at the same economic level. Stop overpaying the menial workers, and let the truly valuable among us keep what we have. It's not my problem if you can't survive off of what the economic system says you're worth, stop picking my pockets looking for a handout.

Huh?

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I hope this is a joke, because just knowing that someone with your arrogant outlook on society is walking around out there... that's scary, man.

Tough to take the MBTA

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Tough to take the MBTA seriously when they threaten to end all weekend service. Sure, that wouldn't affect tourism at all. And it's not like anyone works on weekends and would need to get downtown. Why would they even throw that out there?

No weekend service

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I was thinking the same thing! Cutting weekend service would kill the cities tourism. I hadn't even thought about the people that have to work on the weekend but clearly cutting weekend service is a bad idea. And the 33% hike they are talking about, that would put my commute at around $340/month and that doesn't include parking at the commuter rail or my monthly car payment. It would almost be worth it for me to stop using the commuter rail and drive in to work every day! GEEZ! When driving in out weighs the cost of using public transit, I think they will lose more people than this hike is worth. -Mea www.hertrainstories.blogspot.com

Cut weekend service?

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So if you have no car you have to stay home every weekend? Yes, that makes sense.