MBTA sets meetings at which you can rage impotently against fare hikes

Schedule of upcoming meetings on fare hikes, the end of late-night service on weekends and commuter-rail schedule changes.

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    I have an idea...

    By on

    Let's get the MBTA to index T fares to inflation. That seems to be a sure-fire way of preventing any future fare hikes.

    Or maybe once the Red Line extension to Alewife is paid off, they can remove the fare gates at Porter, Davis, and Alewife. And then they can add those fares back again a few years later, but they'll leave the fares at the 1996 rate.

    Or in a pure pander move, the governor can just eliminate fare collection on the above-ground Green Line.

    /s

    "Indexed to inflation" was,

    By on

    "Indexed to inflation" was, more or less, what the Legislature's 5%-every-2-years law was intended to do. Instead the T found a loophole in it so they can continue increasing fares at twice the cost of inflation, as they've been doing since the early 2000s.

    AHEM

    Payroll costs aren't the problem.

    Dumping Big Dig overrun debt that Bechtel should have been held accountable for IS THE PROBLEM.

    Of course your gas, like your cherry-picked arguments, is probably self-serve.

    really?!

    By on

    I dare u to find evidence supporting that statement in the mbta's income statement.

    Really redux?

    By on

    Always love it when you link to an article that makes my point. They state flat out that debt used to run about 30% of the budget. In fact that's about where it was when forward funding began. Now it's 22%. There's only one way that happens. Operating costs - salaries, pensions and bennies go up faster than debt costs.

    This agency has enormous capital costs - tracks, signaling, cars and locomotives. Of course they have debt and that only comes to 20% of their budget. If capital and operating costs kept pace we'd have another $175 million for debt servicing annually. Funny. At 3% interest only that is almost $6 billion or almost enough to cover the entire backlog. Half the proposed fare hikes would about cover the rest.

    Funny that.

    NOT!

    It's nice thst you can read. Back to work on those comprehension skills swirls.

    There's a problem with your logic

    By on

    While I agree that saddling the T with Big Dig debt is wrong, theoretically the cost of that particular debt should be shrinking in relation to the T's overall costs.

    I mean, it's like your mortgage. As long as the interest rates are fixed, your cost remains the same for the term of the loan, meaning any increased earnings on your part makes your costs relatively less.

    Unless, of course, you keep on refinancing your mortgage to cover new expenses or take out a home equity line and only pay off the minimum each month. Sure, you're doing it because you are bad at finances and/or have income issues, but the original debt is not the issue by that point.

    32% gas tax, actually

    By on

    And to make an apples-to-apples comparison to the way sales tax is implemented, the percentage needs to be represented as a percentage-increase, not a percentage-of (a surcharge, not a portion of the whole).

    That is, when you have a product that costs $1, you add a 6.25% sales tax to get to $1.0625 as your total price. The sales tax is 5.88% of that final figure, but we call it a 6.25% sales tax because of the way it's a surcharge, not a portion.

    So, the 44.94¢ gas tax may be 24% of $1.87, but it's like a 31.69% sales tax on top of gas, if you started with $1.42/gal and then tacked on the $0.4494.

    Thanks

    I thought about it after posting but didn't think it would be that large a difference worth correcting. Another error I made is that the price I paid was probably $1.879 a gallon since stations put the 9/10ths in fine print.

    Deleo and Baker have said no

    By on

    Deleo and Baker have said no new taxes or fees for government services..... Think Baker and Deleo will attend these meetings? Of course not, they are too busy being chauffeured around in their fancy SUVs to care about working people.

    Think the MBTA bureaucrats

    By on

    Think the MBTA bureaucrats will even attend their own meeting? They didn't even deign to make an appearance at a legislative hearing a couple days ago on an important bill that will increase MBTA funding if passed.

    The public will probably get to vent at the T's Assistant Deputy Backup Manager In Charge of Paperclip Procurement, who will have a canned response to everything. Or perhaps the T will just send a cardboard cut-out of Joe Pesaturo.

    Actually... where's Pesaturo

    By on

    Actually... where's Pesaturo been lately? All the news articles since last winter seem to quote someone else within the MBTA, Keolis, the FMCB, or Pollack, rather than getting a statement from Mr. Spokesman. Does he still work for them? Does he just sit around gathering a paycheck now without actually speaking for the T in public?

    Meetings

    By on

    That link adam posted is awful.. its every meeting the T has until the end of the year.

    Here's a link to the flyer that will be handed out with JUST the meetings about fare increase meetings.

    Already put a few into my calendar to try to attend some of them. I'm already drafting my email to send it for "public comment"

    I hope to see many of you there at these meetings.

    Directions to Weymouth High from North Quincy Station

    By on

    5:58 PM
    Subway Red Line towards Braintree
    6 min (2 stops) · Stop ID: 70097 ·

    6:05 PM
    Quincy Center
    Bus 225 towards Columbian Square via Shaw St
    32 min (46 stops) · Stop ID: 32001

    6:37 PM
    Main St @ Bayley Terrace

    Walk about 15 min

    6:52 PM
    Weymouth High School
    1 Wildcat Way, South Weymouth, MA 02190

    Also: what the "Fare Proposal

    By on

    Also: what the "Fare Proposal" we're supposed to be commenting on actually, specifically *is*. And maybe a link to it?

    Thanks

    By on

    I've switched the link in the original post to that flyer.

    I think, Watson, we may be screwed.

    By on

    http://commonwealthmagazine.org/transportation/keolis-gm-knows-winter-is...

    The above article is very good for a re-read. The MBTA has a 7.3 billion dollar maintenance and modernization backlog. I have no idea how yearly fare increases will make much of a dent in that monster of a hole. Major changes are needed but where are the leaders?

    So we, the commuters, will carry on. We will keep our fingers crossed that our 3rd world embarrassment of a transit system keeps limping along while the management geniuses at the MBTA try to weave silk out of a sow's ear.

    Here

    By on

    The MBTA has a 7.3 billion dollar maintenance and modernization backlog. I have no idea how yearly fare increases will make much of a dent in that monster of a hole. Major changes are needed but where are the leaders?

    Read this thread from yesterday.. I broke it down there. (make sure you read a reply where that 7.2B balloons up to 24.8B to see a further break down)

    But here it is for people who don't want to read a link..

    Now let's do some math.

    7.2Billion in backlog
    48 Million in new fare revenue (if we give them the largest option)
    48 Mil divided by 7.2 Bil = .006666666667

    So roughly ~.06% of the total backlog maintenance. LESS THAN A PERCENT.

    Sure fares will really go toward the operating budget, and some money will be transferred over fixing the backlog also.. but still. It's still less than 1% of that backlog and we're not talking about how that number will increase over time as we continue to kick the can down further. In short, it just wont help very much at all.

    and my reply to the ballooning of 7.2B to 24.8B

    So it even furthers my point..

    So 24.8B over 25 years is about 992 Million per year

    Now let's re-apply what I did above...

    48Million divided by 992Million = .0483870967741935

    Or ~ 4% of that per year. Still not a big dent. Add what you've said above about inflation.. and it'll be closer to 1-2%.

    Just furthers my point that raising fares is nothing more than smoke and mirrors from baker and co.

    Nice, beat me to it. I've

    By on

    Nice, beat me to it. I've been trying to publicize that $24.8B figure wherever I see the $7.3B figure still being bandied about.

    ARRRGGHGGHGHGHGH!!!!! THERE

    By on

    ARRRGGHGGHGHGHGH!!!!! THERE'S GOING TO BE A LOT MORE THAN FARE HIKES TO BE RAGED ABOUT!!! AGgGHGHGHGHGRRRR!!!! Close your eyes....you're at the beach on a warm calm day.....close youre eyes.....you're at the beach on a warm calm day....happy thoughts....happy thoughts!!

    Quincy gets no respect. No respect, I tell ya.

    By on

    Four Red Line stations and a Commuter Rail stop - no meetings. I do not want to go to Weymouth for a meeting. What is wrong with you people that you can't come to a city of 95,000 people and talk about the MBTA?

    Similar argument could be made for Cambridge.

    Give them a break

    They are only having these meeting as a formality and don't give a shit what the public has to say. Why make them schlep out to Quincy?

    It would be unfair to make them deal with the traffic and T isn't exactly reliable. If you want to waste their time the least you can do is come to Boston.

    Boston has a meeting

    By on

    but it starts at 5pm, conveniently shutting out many people.

    Allow extra time if you'll be taking the T.

    Yeah, it's not like any of us

    By on

    Yeah, it's not like any of us could actually rely on using the T to get to a meeting in a different town...

    I have no problem with fare hikes*

    By on

    As long as the extra money is tallied and goes 100% to new equipment, systems, GLX and a host of other necessary capital projects. No further raises, pension funding, health care increases etc. etc. etc. for at least 5 years.

    *The commuter fare rails on the Needham line should at most stay the same. $6 to go to Rozzie Village is ridiculous.

    see

    By on

    See my post above to see how much this fare increase will actually go toward non-operating costs.. less than a 1%..

    The MBTA themselves have said

    By on

    The MBTA themselves have said this fare increase is entirely about closing an operating budget hole. That means it's going entirely to "raises, pension funding, health care increases etc. etc. etc." Articles I saw earlier last year said that the cost of healthcare for T workers is increasing at twice the revenues they bring in.

    The MBTA invites us to

    By on

    The MBTA invites us to comment on the "Fare Proposal", but what, uh, *is* the Fare Proposal? Obviously there have been a number of reports and floated proposals regarding a fare increase, but I don't see an actual proposal on the MBTA site to base comments on.

    Stand outside the meeting

    Pass out flyers for a full protest and demonstration at the statehouse. Maybe even plans for an early morning blockade of the garage!

    Place the blame appropriately

    By on

    Another comment mentioned "smoke and mirrors", and it is rather appropriate, all things considered. With all the tough talk Baker has done regarding the MBTA it is pretty funny that he leaves out one important piece: That he was directly involved in causing a lot of it. When you have a lot of debt, common sense and smart business practice dictates that reducing that debt is a priority. How do you do that? You try to cut spending and raise revenue. It's funny the Charlie never talks about his days in the Bill Weld administration, where he was one of the chief architects behind the financial plans that transferred a monster piece of debt from the big dig onto the books of the MBTA. THAT is why the overall debt number is so huge. THAT is why there is a backlog of repairs and huge overtime numbers that have increased as more stuff has broken down and hiring had slowed to down considerably. Instead, he's using a financial catastrophe brought on in no small part by his own actions to play scumbag politician games. How many of you were aware of any of this? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? I bet that number is incredibly small. Instead, too many of you read half truths mixed with serious omission of facts as published by the Boston version of the NY Post, and you gobble it up without question and allow yourselves to get furious based on manipulated numbers. If any of you really cared about this subject you'd make the effort to work on the details and hear from both sides. Like they say in the old country, "Common sense is not so common. Don't let politicians play you like that.

    "Born Broke," a report on the

    By on

    "Born Broke," a report on the MBTA's own website, about how the T after "forward funding" was implemented was essentially created already-broke.

    [ "Forward funding" is the name of the scheme you describe, where (a) the T went from being funded by the legislature as-needed, to simply being given a fixed percentage of the statewide sales tax and being expected to operate within those constraints, and (b) a huge pile of Big Dig debt was dumped on the T, which they were now expected to cover out of their revenues. ]

    The meetings do make a difference

    By on

    When the MBTA last raised fares a year and a half ago, there was a big difference between the original proposal and what they ended up with. They'll definitely raise fares again this year, but I would bet a Powerball ticket that neither of the two ideas they've put out are going to be the final deal.

    I predict they'll roll back the idea that monthly bus/subway passes go up more than single fares, and they won't raise local bus passes anywhere near as much as proposed. Hard to say if they'll provide low-income subsidies, there's a lot of opposition and the meetings will have impact on these ideas.

    Fare Hikes I don't think will

    By on

    Fare Hikes I don't think will solve them problem. It is so ridiculous how many people just walk through fare gates lately for FREE!! I saw this other day @ Andrew No attendant in sight. So let me get this straight Inpay for a monthly pass while these people get to waltz right through. Or when a bus driver says " you're all set" because they want to get out of station. The MBTA wonders why they are losing $$. This does make a big difference. If people were paying their fare. And they have the audacity to raise fares. Manage the fare gates first!!

    fare hikes

    By on

    If anyone was smart, you would boycott the MBTA. When you start effecting the money, they will listen. Just look at the bus strikes back in the civil rights movement and how it changed the outcome of that time. Keep feeding the pig and it only gets worse. #BOYCOTTMBTA until they improve service without fare hikes

    Boycotting the MBTA is not the answer, imho.

    By on

    Attending meetings or writing letters to the MBTA staff telling them to fix the MBTA's problems before increasing the area at all is, imho.

    Boycotting the MBTA will do nothing except increase automobile/bus traffic, thereby making an already awful situation (an already too-congested area) far worse.

    Not everyone can get around without the T

    By on

    My grandmother lived on Ashmont St. and didn't have a license. She didn't need one. She just walked down the hill to the Ashmont Station and it took her where she needed to go.

    I have been boycotting the T, in a sense, since I got a job in Medford about a year ago. I live near the North Quincy Red Line station and work near the Wellington Orange Line station. Talk about a nightmare. On a good day it takes an hour to get from door to door.

    I have a monthly parking pass at the Wellington T garage and I drive to and from work every day. It takes anywhere from 30 - 40 minutes. I'm in the car, listening to Matty in the Morning, drinking my morning tea, dry, and comfortable.

    When the weather is terrible and the roads are bad, I just work from home.

    The new train schedules look pretty good...

    By on

    at least for the Newburyport/Rockport line. There are additional trains and the big gap between the 8:27 and the 9:24 AM (Salem time) has been eliminated. Of course, this is the line that goes through the Gov.'s hometown of Swampscott, but it looked like other lines would be getting better service too.