Two proposals to hike MBTA fares and cut service that were released last week are not set in stone, Massachusetts Transportation Secretary Richard Davey said today.
“The scenarios were were designed to prompt a conversation. Neither is a firm or concrete proposal. We don’t have all the answers and look forward to hearing from our customers with ideas for how to improve service and cut our costs,” Davey said in a live chat hosted by boston.com.
He said some of the state’s best ideas, such as selling ads on Charlie Cards, have come from customers, and he encouraged people to attend a string of more than 20 public hearings that are being held through March to discuss the proposals.
The T would raise subway fares by up to 70 cents and dramatically trim bus routes, eliminate ferries, and end weekend commuter rail trains under a plan unveiled last week to help erase a projected $161 million deficit.
For South Shore commuuters, the elimination of weekend rail services and the commuter boats were of particular concern. The region's residents can attend a public meeting at Hingham Town Hall on Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. to voice concerns over the MBTA’s proposals.
In his online chat, Davey addressed a wide range of issues, including the possibility of private commuter boat service, fare evasion, and problems with service last winter. A transcript of the chat is available here.