The MBTA is hosting a public meeting to collect feedback on the fare increase proposal on Wednesday, February 27th at 6:30PM, at the State Transportation Building (10 Park Plaza, Boston). We intend to present this petition with signatures at that meeting. Please sign on below and join us in person if you can!
We oppose the proposal to raise MBTA fares.
The proposed 6% fare hike would place an undue burden on residents already struggling to meet transportation-related costs, totaling an unaffordable 41% increase in MBTA fares since 2012. The increased costs would push more commuters to drive, undercutting our most urgent goal of increasing transit ridership to ease congestion, limit air pollution, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
We are running out of time to transform our economy and society in the face of climate change, and the Greater Boston region is now confronted with the worst traffic in the nation.The proposed fare increase represents a step in the wrong direction when we can’t afford anything less than aggressive progress forward.
We urge you to reject the fare increases and instead take steps toward a fare-free transit system to ensure the right of mobility for all:- Create a single youth pass with free, unlimited, year-round access to the MBTA. Currently, MBTA options for students and youth passes are needlessly complicated and inconsistent, and are turning the next generation of riders against public transportation. - Extend the same free, unlimited, year-round pass to seniors residing in Massachusetts.- Provide low-income riders with Charlie Cards and a low-income fare option, distributing these MBTA passes through agencies that administer SNAP and other means-tested benefits.
We also urge the MBTA to take immediate steps for fare equity:- Commit to rejecting distance-based bus and subway fares, which have been shown to be regressive, as more residents are being priced out of housing close to job centers. - Rezone the commuter rail fares so that all of Boston is Zone 1A and no municipality is split between multiple fare zones.- As the MBTA moves toward a cashless fare collection system, reject plans to spend resources on costly fare vending machines at every bus stop and instead designate the bus routes where riders will depend on cash as fare-free routes.
Finally, we ask that you focus on building a sustainable funding base for public transit:- Advocate for the Transportation & Climate Initiative.- Implement smarter tolling and congestion pricing.- Support increased surcharges for TNCs (such as Uber and Lyft) that encourage shared rides.- Support legislation to enable regional ballot initiatives that would allow voters to identify and raise revenues for transit priorities.
Transportation planning must not exist in a vacuum, and fare hikes will only continue to exacerbate the inequities and climate and public health challenges facing our city and region. Please take action to strengthen opportunities for generations to come by embracing transit equity and access.
Boston Clean Energy Coalition, West Roxbury Saves Energy, Tufts SPINES, WalkUP Roslindale, Boston Climate Action Network, Progressive Mass., Fairmount Indigo Transit Coalition, 350 MA, Massachusetts Climate Action Network*
*Updating co-sponsor list as organizations sign on