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LETTER: MBTA Fare Increase Shows Lack of Beacon Hill Leadership

Fetherstone: "The leadership in the House of Representatives has failed because its only answers to the T’s financial troubles are more revenue streams and service cuts, not any structural reforms."

The fares on public transportation provided by the MBTA recently increased, as well as some service cuts began on July 1.

If you do not use public transportation, you may be asking, ‘Why do I care?  I don’t ride the T.’   For those of you who make the Boston commute on the T, this fare increase hits you directly in the wallet. 

So, why should the rest of you care? 

The MBTA loses money on its baseline operating costs. For every $5.11 of revenue it collects in operating revenue, it pays out $7.15 in operating expenses.  

To make up for this short fall, the T receives dedicated revenue from the sales tax collections and also issues assessments to towns (paid for by real estate taxes).  So those of you who think the sales taxes and real estate taxes are too high, the T is a cost driver of both of them. Now, the T is asking for funding from the annual state budget as well (income taxes).

The leadership in the House of Representatives has failed because its only answers to the T’s financial troubles are more revenue streams and service cuts, not any structural reforms. Structural reforms for the MBTA means changing the Board of Directors leadership team, it means structuring wages and benefits in line with the industry and, finally, making common sense reforms. 

I am running for a seat in the House of Representatives to make a difference and represent all of us on this important issue. 

 

Jon Fetherston

Candidate for State Representative

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