Previously believing that MBTA management, led by General Manager Dan Grabauskas, whom I perceive to a serious fiscal conservative, perceived a deficit and was advocating for the MBTA fare increase, I was prepared to accept it as an alternative to service cuts. The service cuts proposed for my district and elsewhere would deprive many people of essential mobility.
The story which came out today in the Boston Globe is a block buster. It makes clear that Dan Grabauskas was actually opposed to a fare increase and did not believe that it was necessary, given what the legislature has been able to do for the T in terms cost-saving reforms and additional support from sale tax revenues. I respect Dan Grabauskas’ judgment. On that basis, and given all of the negatives of a fare increase for people in need, I oppose a fare increase.
I testified yesterday against the service cuts that would affect my district, as many of you have urged me to do, but I was neutral on the question of a fare increase. I will testify additionally at the Thursday hearing to express opposition to a fare increase.
Afternoon update: Sounds like it’s moot and the issue of a fare increase is dead. The Governor hasn’t explicitly ruled it out, cancelling hearings pending a review, but given the apparent injection of politics into the process, I really think it will be hard for the MBTA to credibly make a case for a fare increase.