Boston Globe, Letters, 3/8/16
DANTE RAMOS takes a narrow view of the MBTA fare issue by supporting the Governor’s proposal to raise fares by 7 percent (“MBTA fare hikes stink, but they’re needed,” Opinion, March 1). In 2013, legislators reversed decades of underinvestment in our state’s transportation needs. Recall that the legislature increased T funding as part of the reform and revenue bill that capped fare increases at 5 percent every two years.
But Governor Baker is leaving some of that money on the table, and instead telling riders — many of whom are least able to bear this burden — to pay more for less. The $10 million in additional revenue from the proposed hike is insignificant compared to the T’s $8 billion repair backlog. This is why the Alliance for Business Leadership, where I serve on the board, opposes any fare hike in excess of the Legislature’s intent. The proposed increases will make a meaningful and harmful dent in the wallets of many riders, and will potentially reduce access to opportunity for those who rely on the T to get to work or school. This fare fight has grave consequences for our economy and workforce. And that’s what really stinks.