THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING
< Back to front page Text size +

Public would have MBTA costs shifted to other agencies

Posted by Matt Byrne  March 27, 2012 10:15 AM

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

In more than 30 public meetings, T officials have heard the personal pleas of residents perturbed at proposed service cuts and fare hikes on the MBTA.

Public would have MBTA costs shifted to other agencies - Somerville - Your Town - Boston.com.pngNow the numbers are doing the talking.

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council is expected this week to submit to legislators more than 1,300 budget tweaks from citizens who picked and chose programs to fund or restructure.

The feedback follows the MAPC's "fix The T" budget calculator released earlier this month, a web application that let citizens do the theoretical cutting.

According to the agency, the majority of responses sought to spread costs to other agencies, an option far preferable over fare increases or service cuts, results show.

"The next step for us is to put this into a letter, a memo that we'll be sending to [Department of Transportation] Secretary Richard Davey and the MBTA," said Eric Bourassa, director of the transportation division at the planning group.

More than 500 e-mails with individuals' suggestions have been sent to 109 state legislators, according to the data.

Among the highlights, more than 800 people would have the Massachusetts State Police take over the MBTA's transit police force, as well as permanently sell ferry operations to MassPort.

The top specific proposal would complete the sale of  a property on East First Street in South Boston to MassPort.

Tweaks to Silver Line operations were popular, too. In all, more than 1,000 people suggested the T end the remittance of Silver Line fares to Massport, and for Massport to pay nearly half of the Silver Line Waterfront route costs.

While shifting liability to other agencies was the most frequent budget change, more than 3,700 respondents said they wanted the T to boost non-fare revenue.

Chief among those was the reinstatement of alcohol advertising on MBTA vehicles and in stations. Another frequent response was for the agency to collect payment for existing naming rights contracts.

The T is expected to submit its budget in April for approval.

Top categories of budget changes
Rank Category Total Submissions
1 Cost transfers to other agencies 5,633
2 MBTA non-fare revenue 3.789
3 Fare increases 1,471
4 Newer expanded state funding 1,412
5 Service cuts 352

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article