The plan is an improvement over previous MBTA budget-balancing proposals which would have involved steeper fare hikes and widespread service reductions. Those proposals met with criticism from both officials and the public in a series of hearings across the Greater Boston area.
The newest plan would take effect on July 1 if approved. The cost of a subway ride would increase by 30 cents to $2 with a CharlieCard and bus fares by 25 cents to $1.50. It would also lead to the elimination of four bus routes and weekend service on some commuter rail lines, but preserves the ferry service which had been on the chopping block. This will be the first fare increase since 2007.
Secretary of Transportation Richard Davey said that the newest plan tried to take into consideration findings from 30 public hearings and emails to the agency.
“We believe that this proposal reflects what our customers told us, which was largely, ‘Please do not cut our service as best you can, raise fares if you need to, but find a way to ensure that our service is preserved,’ ’’ Davey said in a statement.