Fare Hikes + Heavy Service Cuts Looming

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Fare Hikes + Heavy Service Cuts Looming

Postby BostonUrbEx » Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:38 am

State unveils two scenarios for MBTA fare increases and service cuts

By Martin Finucane, Globe Staff

Ready to shell out more for that MBTA ride?

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation today unveiled two scenarios for fare increases and service cuts on the MBTA public transit system, saying they were needed to close a yawning budget gap.

Under one scenario, fares would increase by 43 percent, while under the other, they would increase by 35 percent.

“While the MBTA continues to identify and adopt strict measures to close the budget gap, less costly ways of doing business and additional revenue-generating measures are necessary,” Transportation Secretary Richard A. Davey said in a statement.

Read more: http://www.boston.com/Boston/metrodesk/ ... index.html
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Re: Fare Hikes + Heavy Service Cuts Looming

Postby RailBus63 » Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:31 pm

Note that, at best, the authority will be cutting service by 9 percent, and that is assuming riders are OK with paying $2.40 per subway ride. More likely, the politicians and public will insist an a lesser fare increase and bus service, commuter rail and boat service will be slashed.

The MBTA is in serious financial trouble.
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Re: Fare Hikes + Heavy Service Cuts Looming

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:57 pm

Since they've yet to be at all specific about what services will be cut, that is probably a lot of saber-rattling to try to force the Legislature to the table when the public backlash blows in the elected officials' faces. They don't have excuses any longer to put off discussing on Beacon Hill how untenable forward funding and the highway debt are for running the existing system. That seemed to be Davey's M.O. the whole time he was GM, and I doubt he's changed course at all with that goal of forcing the Legislature's hand now that he's in more powerful position. I would expect some cuts, but they'll be negotiable and there's no way they'll get all they want because of the backlash. Fares...yes, that's gonna spike. We can't be the cheapest by far major transit system in the country forever under these conditions.

Mode-wise I think the ferries are most endangered by far. Not enough value-added beyond what bus and CR transfers can provide as a minimal baseline. Would suck if they withered to service levels below the point of true usefulness because that mode does have a viable place in the transit universe, but if it gets down to either/or between funding that and funding rail transit or bus transfers water transit is going to lose every time.
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Re: Fare Hikes + Heavy Service Cuts Looming

Postby toddr4fun » Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:03 pm

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Re: Fare Hikes + Heavy Service Cuts Looming

Postby RailBus63 » Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:16 pm

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:Since they've yet to be at all specific about what services will be cut, that is probably a lot of saber-rattling to try to force the Legislature to the table when the public backlash blows in the elected officials' faces. They don't have excuses any longer to put off discussing on Beacon Hill how untenable forward funding and the highway debt are for running the existing system. That seemed to be Davey's M.O. the whole time he was GM, and I doubt he's changed course at all with that goal of forcing the Legislature's hand now that he's in more powerful position. I would expect some cuts, but they'll be negotiable and there's no way they'll get all they want because of the backlash. Fares...yes, that's gonna spike. We can't be the cheapest by far major transit system in the country forever under these conditions.


It doesn’t always work - the Chicago Transit Authority tried that in 2010 but it didn’t work and they were forced to go through with the drastic service cuts they threatened.

Ideally, the commonwealth would somehow take on the MBTA’s debt and put the authority on better footing but the state has no realistic ability to do that, especially given the rumblings coming from Beacon Hill about further austerity measures and spending cuts that will needed to balance the next state budget. New taxes have virtually no chance of being passed in an election year.

I think what we are seeing is what we will get – the riders and politicians will make it known what lousy scenario they prefer.
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Re: Fare Hikes + Heavy Service Cuts Looming

Postby FatNoah » Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:31 pm

The detailed proposals have quietly been released.


Aside from the buspocalpyse noted in scenario 2, important rail-related cuts in both proposed scenarios are:
1. All ferries
2. Weekend Commuter rail and E-Line
3. Commuter rail after 10pm.

Fare increases would be in the 20-30% range though it would be more for many people as the differences between scenario 1 and 2 increases is a few percent. e.g. $78 vs. $80 for LinkPass. Parking would also increase close to 50% at most facilities.
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Re: Fare Hikes + Heavy Service Cuts Looming

Postby FatNoah » Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:40 pm

Other interesting notes...

In both cases, changes are projected to save between $160 and $165 million. For those interested in such things, the T requested $400 million in FY 2011 to pay for debt. Of that $400 million, $258 million was planned for interest alone.
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Re: Fare Hikes + Heavy Service Cuts Looming

Postby BostonUrbEx » Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:54 pm

Here's a map of the proposed Buspocalypse: http://twitpic.com/82qjyt/full
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Re: Fare Hikes + Heavy Service Cuts Looming

Postby mdamico23 » Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:13 pm

Weekend Commuter rail

I really hope they do not cut weekend Commuter Rail Service. I use the Commuter Rail (Fitchburg Line) on the weekend usually at least twice a month, and my observations are that the trains (especially the morning inbounds) are quite crowded. Not rush hour crowded, but busy enough, with alot of people (including occasionally myself) commuting to their jobs on Saturdays. Unfortunately, I think the T is striving for the MARC and VRE models where there is no service offered outside of typical workdays. If anything, I picture off-peak Commuter Rail Services even busier in the next year if the predictions of skyrocketing gas prices for 2012 come true. Who knows? Hopefully, this is just saber-rattling and at the last minute "an agreement" to provide off peak services will continue, much like what happened in 2009. When it comes to funding issues, the MBTA reminds me of SEPTA in Philadelphia. Many years, SEPTA threatens all sorts of service cuts and then the Pennsylvania Legislature "saves" them at the last minute. Hopefully, the Mass Legislature faces some sort of outcry from the public over this and steps in with some sort of debt-service help, which in my opinion is the thing killing the system.

-Mike
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Re: Fare Hikes + Heavy Service Cuts Looming

Postby RailBus63 » Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:49 pm

FatNoah wrote:
The detailed proposals have quietly been released.


Aside from the buspocalpyse noted in scenario 2, important rail-related cuts in both proposed scenarios are:
1. All ferries
2. Weekend Commuter rail and E-Line
3. Commuter rail after 10pm.



Both scenarios also include the elimination of weekend service on the Mattapan High-Speed Line.
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Re: Fare Hikes + Heavy Service Cuts Looming

Postby bozepravde15 » Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:52 pm

Scenario 1, I could deal with, as bad as it would be. Scenario 2, on the other hand, would basically be the end of me taking the T in any capacity, except to railfan. I'm not going to pay more, only to have 3 of the buses I take the most get eliminated. These cuts are absolutely ridiculous. I can already imagine how many of my friends would lose their jobs with Scenario 2. I take the T out of convenience, but this would pretty much be the end of that. And no Commuter Rail after 10pm and none on weekends seems just as drastic to me as the elimination of all those bus routes. I would much rather pay an even 50% or more fare hike, and still have a way to get around, than pay a 35% one and have no use of the MBTA at all, besides driving or walking to my local T station. Hopefully something gets done so this Buspocalypse doesn't happen.
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Re: Fare Hikes + Heavy Service Cuts Looming

Postby rethcir » Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:36 pm

I don't have much of a problem with fare hikes, the proposed rates would bring Boston further into line with a lot of systems I've seen around the country and the world.

Before this thread is gimped for Rubber Wheel, I do wonder sometimes if the T has ever considered doing a complete reset of the rubber routes to optimize them with regards to current population centers vs destinations, etc. My understanding is a lot of them are vestiges of the old streetcars.

80 Bus should go once the GLX comes thru since it mostly reproduces its route. Or just TT it, increase service and eliminate the GLX.

Austerity sucks but at least we don't have it as bad as, say, greece..
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Re: Fare Hikes + Heavy Service Cuts Looming

Postby jamesinclair » Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:43 pm

rethcir wrote:I don't have much of a problem with fare hikes, the proposed rates would bring Boston further into line with a lot of systems I've seen around the country and the world.
.


Not really. Moscow, Mexico City and others, with fares of around 20 US cents, say hi. And before anyone says "costs are different" I suggest you research costs of living in Moscow. The difference is, they value their transit systems.

"but new york charges people so much!"

Ah yes, the classic "if others suck, we should suck too" routine. Nothing wrong with 30 minute headways, after all, Miami does it.


Also, didnt we just have a massive fare hike? I remember it pretty well. I see it on my receipts every time I eat out and buy something at the store.
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Re: Fare Hikes + Heavy Service Cuts Looming

Postby StefanW » Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:49 pm




In addition there's three other docs posted today, all regarding potential fare increases and/or service cuts:


Remarks (as prepared for delivery) for January 3, 2012 Presentation to MBTA Board, Finance Sub-committee
by Charles Planck – Senior Director, Strategic Initiatives
http://mbta.com/uploadedfiles/About_the_T/Fare_Proposals_2012/Jan%203%202012%20Finance%20Committe%20Remarks.pdf


MBTA Fare and Service Proposals Overview
MassDOT Board Finance Committee January 3, 2012
http://www.mbta.com/uploadedfiles/About_the_T/Fare_Proposals_2012/Finance%20Committee%20Presentation%20-%20Fare%20and%20Service%20Proposals%20Overview.pdf


MBTA Transit Service Price Comparison
http://mbta.com/uploadedfiles/About_the_T/Fare_Proposals_2012/MBTA,%20other%20transit%20fare%20comparison.pdf
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Re: Fare Hikes + Heavy Service Cuts Looming

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:03 pm

My PDF reader is busted (for this moment), so can anyone give a brief summary of the proposals?
Since my friend continues to chain smoke nonstop, she is probably an Alco.
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