MBTA hearing about rate hikes - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

MBTA hearing about rate hikes

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Nicole Gerber

ATTLEBORO - If you board a commuter rail - you better reach deeper into your pocket.

The MBTA is proposing a 5% rate hike for commuters making their way into Boston. One way fares could increase up to .50 cents, and monthly passes could jump by $15.

"I think that they're quite unrealistic, for example I get maybe a 2% raise every year and last time that the fares increased was astronomically expensive," said Liz Smylie of Cumberland.

"I really think it's getting a little out of hand. I know a lot of people use the train, it's going to be a burden to them," said Tom Sabeach of Lincoln.

T officials are pushing for the increase, which would go into effect July 1st, to hire nearly 300 new employees a
nd train them for new services, including the upcoming 1 year trial of late–night operations and expanded off–peak services.

"It's another increase but it's understandable with the new equipment and everything coming in, it's been a long time, I've been taking the train a long time," said William Brown of North Attleboro.

But... The MBTA expects a $10 million surplus next year to go toward improving accessibility, and an $8.2 million savings from cheaper contracts.

Some riders would rather see that money used for new programs before it's taken out of their pockets.

"It'll be much more, and the salary doesn't increase that much, so you know like every year, so I don't like that at all," said Karina Fagan of Providence.

The MBTA says it doesn't expect to lose more than 1%  of ridership if it raises rates.

Tonight's meeting is from 7–9 at Attleboro High School.

They will vote on the fare proposal sometime in May.
For more information visit the MBTA website.

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