Transit protesters face arrest outside State House for blocking traffic on Beacon Street

Boston police have arrested at least four people from a group of senior citizens and people with disabilities who stopped traffic on Beacon Street in front of the State House to protest fare increases for the paratransit service known as The Ride.

“If we can’t ride, you can’t drive,” seven people sitting in chairs and wheelchairs in the crosswalk said as they blocked angry motorists. “Roll back The Ride. Equity Now,” the protesters said.

Carolyn Villers, director of the Massachusetts Senior Action Council, which organized the protest, was arrested shortly before 1 p.m.

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The confrontation comes as the House begins debating a transportation budget that transit users and advocates have called “woefully inadequate.”

Users of The Ride and advocates contend that those in need of paratransit services have had to shoulder the burden of disproportionate fare increases.

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