Wednesday, May 03, 2006

MBTA fare increase: The rumbling's getting louder

The drums of discontent are getting louder.

Pelican In Her Piety has an outstanding summation of the T's funding situation and a spot-on analysis of the problems facing T riders and the agency, thanks in large part to outer suburb Representatives who cut the T's funding and then tried to raid its accounts (Via Universal Hub).

In case you missed it, Mike Dukakis got into the act in yesterday's Globe, and make some damn good sense:

''Gas prices are now $3 a gallon for regular," he wrote in an e-mail. ''Yet, here in Massachusetts where we are blessed with what could be the best public transportation system in the country, we seem to be doing everything we can to drive people away from the T.

''It is now clear, as it should have been at the time it happened, that tying the T to one penny on the sales tax as its principal revenue source was a terrible mistake. The T is a public service, just like our highways. It is a critically important piece of our metropolitan and state economy. It needs expansion, not contraction."

So is this the real start of the pushback, and where will we end up? If I had to make a guess, the T will offer transfer to CharlieTicket riders and keep the increase at $1.70, instead of retreating on the final increase amount itself. Then they'll say everybody wins, although the evidence shows this is the solution that should have been in place in 2000. Grrr.

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