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Charlestown group calls for MBTA community meeting on cuts

Posted by Johanna Kaiser  February 8, 2012 11:25 AM

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A Charlestown neighborhood group wants the MBTA to come to the community to discuss plans for cuts to services used by residents.

The Charlestown Neighborhood Council at its monthly meeting Tuesday agreed to write the MBTA to oppose proposed service cuts and fare hikes and request a community meeting with T officials.

The MBTA has released two proposals aimed at reducing a projected operating deficit of $161 million and $5.2 billion in debt, $3.6 billion of which was inherited from the state for projects that include the Big Dig.

One proposal relies more heavily on fare increases than service cuts; the other offers smaller fare increases, but more service cuts.

The second proposal would eliminate the 92 bus route that runs from downtown Boston to Assembly Square Mall through Main Street and Sullivan Square. Both proposals eliminate the commuter boat that runs from the Navy Yard to downtown Boston.

The MBTA is holding meetings to hear from the public throughout greater Boston, but no meetings have been scheduled to be held in Charlestown. The closest scheduled meeting will be held in the West End Wednesday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Shriners Hospital Auditorium.

“We’d really benefit from an organized group well connected to City Hall and to the state Legislature,” said Elianna Nuzum, a founding member of the group Save the Charlestown Ferry, asking the council for support.

Nuzum, whose group has collected more than 500 signatures on a petition opposing the cuts, voiced frustration that commuter boat riders on the South Shore have had more opportunities to comment than Charlestown riders.

The MBTA has scheduled a public meeting in Hingham Wednesday, and last week MBTA general manager Jonathan Davis road the commuter boat from Hull to Boston to talk with South Shore commuters.

Nuzum and the committee said they want the same consideration for their neighborhood.

Council member David Whelan said the council has been contacting city and state officials to bring a meeting to Charlestown.
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Twitter: @YourCharlestown
Email: johanna.yourtown@gmail.com

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