OTM Coalition Members Lead Rally Against Fare Hikes and Service Cuts!

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OTM member organizations the Transit Riders Union (TRU) and theGreater Four Corners Action Coalition were 2 notable groups out front on the March and Rally that took place on January 23, 2012.  Over 20 community groups and organizations took to the steps of the State House yesterday to assail fare hikes and service cuts proposed by the MBTA, then joined more than 200 others at a rowdy public hearing.  There appears little support on Beacon Hill for a funding alternative to the fare hikes and service cuts.

The MBTA faces a $161 million budget gap in the budget year that begins July 1. T officials have argued that they’ve already cut jobs, restrained employee benefits, maximized advertising revenue and eliminated inefficiencies, leaving fare hikes and service cuts as their only levers left to pull. Soaring energy costs, flatter-than-expected sales taxes in recent years, and surging costs to provide transportation options to disabled riders, they contend, have far outpaced the T’s revenue supply.

To address the shortfall, MBTA officials have offered two proposals – one that would raise fares by 43 percent and impose moderate service cuts, and another that would raise fares by 35 percent but demand more drastic reductions in service across the system, which serves 175 Massachusetts communities.

As at its previous hearings, the T found little sympathy from riders, who lined up and angrily denounced the proposals as skewed against the poor, ill-conceived, and likely to be accompanied by unintended consequences.

An aide to Rep. Gloria Fox testified on behalf of the Boston Democrat, ripping the MBTA’s proposals.

“We have the most vulnerable communities under attack in these scenarios,” the aide said.

For more on this article, go to the following page on WBUR.

 

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