By 10%, WCVB reports.
A squadron of state representatives are telling MBTA officials this afternoon that the idea of fare increases or service cuts this year is simply unacceptable because the legislature approved the $160 million T officials initially said was enough to keep the T operating this year.
Meanwhile, Dan Grabauskas told the Globe today he was fired because Deval Patrick needed a scapegoat in the fare debate, because he told Patrick minions weeks ago no fare increase was needed.
One of the first steps of the new regime at the MBTA is to table proposed fare increases originally scheduled for Jan. 1, to give a new outside panel enough time for a "top to bottom" review of T finances, spokesman Colin Durrant said this morning.
However, the T is going ahead with public meetings on possible fare hikes and service cuts. The first is scheduled for this Monday, 4-7 p.m. in the Gardner Auditorium in the State House. T officials have portrayed the "workshops" as a way for the public to help decide between either a 19.4% average fare hike or massive service cuts to help make up anticipated deficits over the next three years.
In the past, Secretary of Transportation James Aloisi - who helped maneuver T General Manager Dan Grabauskas out of his job last night - has said he would chose fare increases over service cuts because T services, once cut, tend not to come back.
Gov. Patrick is expected to name a three-member commission to look into T operations either today or Monday.
Carl Stevens of WBZ rides along with some undercover T cops on the Green Line, including one who probably needs to grow a mustache now or something:
George O'Brien would be amazed: Fight the fare increase by twittering fare evaders to help convince the MBTA to go after fare evaders before raising fares.
That's the idea behind Ride Fare, which somebody is setting up to let MBTA riders
whip out their six guns and apply some T justice compile stats on just how much revenue the T is losing through fare jumping. See somebody, say something @ridefare (Web site coming).
You can put your tickets and passes away. I am not going to get around to checking them today. Don't leave them behind.Does Channel 5 know about this?
Joe Pesaturo at the MBTA passes along a letter to the T from Daniel Verinder of Jamaica Plain:
Kids, don't bother talking to Pahkcah02. She thinks T fares should go up.
Suddenly, Dan Grabauskas is everywhere - and not just on PA systems 'neath the streets of Boston. Today, the daring T general manager vows to go after subway fare evaders. Sure, it's roughly two years after legitimate riders first started complaining about how easy the new fare system made evasion, but better late than never. Maybe next year, he'll even figure out that people evade fares on the trolleys, too.
Mike Mennonno sees the sudden honesty about operating expenses at the T as mere groundwork laying for new fare hikes next year, now that Gov. Patrick and the legislature have made it clear they won't do anything about the T's crippling debt:
... The only question is whether it'll be thirty-five or forty percent. How does $2.30 for a single subway trip with a charlie card sound? $2.80 with a paper ticket? And bus fare of $1.75 with a card, $2.10 with cash? $79 for a monthly pass.
I'm starting a pool. Get your guesstimates in now.
Hondo reports on a fun little incident yesterday morning at Haymarket: A guy scoots through a CharlieGate without paying, under the watchful eye of a T employee, who refuses to call T police even when a paying customer asks him to:
... The other passenger basically lit into the T employee. All he had to do was call it in. But he openly said that he didn't care. ...
The argument goes that you can't build your way out of gridlock. Either you simply run out of room to build new roads, or by building new roads you increase the number of private cars in a small area, and end up with worse gridlock than you had before spending a few billion dollars.
Fare increases reduce revenue:
Without any reform to do something about its debt payments (which now cost more than the system takes in via fares), the answer is yes, John Daley writes.
Third Decade wonders:
... My commute on the Orange Line has definitely been much faster and less crowded since the new fare structure has been in place. Are fewer people riding the system or am I just lucking out and finding trains with fewer crowds?
Jon Petitt learns today he can't bring a guest with him on the T for free anymore (although one sympathetic bus driver did let his friend on without payment).
John Daley notes the T's fare increase is timed to coincide with the formal launch of CharlieCards, which, of course, are named for the protagonist of a song who will never return, no, he'll never return, because he couldn't get offa that train after a fare increase:
... I suppose it makes sense since, just like Charlie, a lot of working people now won't have enough money to pay the fare.
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