Advocates Lobby Senate for Low-Income Fares, E-Bikes In Transportation Bond Bill

On Thursday, the Massachusetts state Senate will debate its version of a multi-billion dollar transportation bond bill, based on legislation that passed in the House of Representatives at the end of June.

The state’s bond bill authorizes public borrowing for new infrastructure projects, with the expectation that federal grants and other funds will reimburse the commonwealth after projects go under construction.

Read the full article in STREETSBLOG.

T riders push for lower fares for low earners

MBTA workers joined public transit riders Tuesday in a rally calling for lawmakers to make the T cheaper for low-income residents.

The latest: Around 50 demonstrators took a giant CharlieCard adorned with over 1,000 signatures as a petition into the State House to deliver to the offices of legislative leaders and Gov. Charlie Baker.

Read the full article in Axios.

Riders, Politicians Call For MBTA To Create Low-Income Fare

WBZ NewsRadio 1030

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Dozens of riders, workers, and politicians gathered at the State House Tuesday to call on the MBTA to offer a general low-income fare.

The group of supporters marched from the steps of the State House to deliver a petition in the shape of a giant MBTA Charlie Card, signed by over 1,000 people, to Governor Charlie Baker and the Legislature to help take action to create the new fare.

Read the full article in WBZ NewsRadio.

MBTA riders, transit advocates rally for low-income fares

Transit advocates, MBTA riders and workers are making one final push for a low-income fare program to be passed through the Legislature by the end of the month, when the formal session ends.

State Sen. Lydia Edwards, Rep. Adrian Madaro, and Carmen’s Union Local 589 President Jim Evers joined fellow low-income fare supporters at a Public Transit Public Good-organized Tuesday afternoon rally in front of the State House.

Read the full article in the Boston Herald.

Wu backs low-income MBTA fare

CommonWealth Magazine

Eliminating fares has been one of her top priorities


BOSTON MAYOR Michelle Wu, who has made a fare-free MBTA one of her top priorities, on Monday said she supports passage of a law creating a reduced fare for low-income riders of the transit authority.

In remarks at a rally near Park Street Station, Wu didn’t distinguish between her two positions and implied the two could coexist together. Aides said later that the mayor is pursuing both simultaneously.

“The mayor supports fare-free transit and remains committed to her fare-free pilot program on three MBTA bus routes. While the city looks into the feasibility of expanding fare-free transit, low-income fares would give more Boston residents access to affordable and reliable transportation across the MBTA system,” said a statement issued by the mayor’s office.

Read the full article in Commonwealth Magazine.

At Park Street, Mayor Wu supports low-income fare program for the T

The Boston Globe

At Park Street, Mayor Wu supports low-income fare program for the T Boston Mayor Michelle Wu joined transit advocates in downtown Boston Monday to call on state lawmakers to pass legislation that would establish and fund a low-income fare program for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s system. According to advocates, data show that a reduced fare for the MBTA would allow low-income people to afford nearly a third more trips.

“We know that for Boston to be a city for everyone, everyone’s got to be able to get where they need to go,” Wu told the crowd of dozens gathered outside the Park Street T station on the edge of Boston Common.

A bill currently in front of the state House Ways and Means Committee establishing a low-income fare program would “equitably expand the proven affordability benefits of programs like the MBTA Youth Pass and free fare bus pilots, as well as fare free regional transit authorities,” advocates said in a press release. The legislation, authored by state Representative Adrian Madaro of East Boston, previously received a favorable vote by the Legislature’s joint Transportation Committee.

Read the full article in The Boston Globe.

Boston mayor, others rally to push MBTA for low income fare program

Transit advocates, including Boston mayor Michelle Wu, held a rally at the Park Street MBTA stop next to Boston Common on Monday, pushing the MBTA for a low income fare program.

Currently, the MBTA offers discounts to groups like students and seniors, but nothing for those who are in a low income bracket.

“We need the low income there so we do not have to choose between a trip and another basic need,” Kathy Paul with the Massachusetts Senior Action Council said.

Boston mayor Michelle Wu has long pushed for a free transit system.

“Public transit systems across the country right now are having to rethink how they fund these systems because the pay as you go model hasn’t been working to be able to maintain our trains for a long, long time,” Wu said.

Read the full article in WCVB.


MBTA riders need a low-income fare, not a new fee

The bay state banner Est 1965

We need a low-income transit fare in Boston.

However, new proposed changes to fare collection would lead us in the opposite direction — away from greater equity and towards a less accessible transportation system, harming the very riders that need it most.

In 2018, the MBTA outsourced fare collection to two billionaire corporations. Governor Charlie Baker’s administration made big promises around equity, saying it would “allow a major customer service improvement to advance in a cost-effective manner.” But last month, as part of this controversial and expensive process, the MBTA proposed a troubling new $3 fee just to obtain an empty Charlie Card. There is, however, no fee charged to those who have the ability to pay with a smart phone app. If the MBTA does not simultaneously reduce the fare for low-income riders, the new fee calls into question the MBTA’s commitment to racial and economic equity. Once again, the MBTA is continuing to perpetuate disparities between the haves and the have-nots: banked vs. un- or under-banked, smartphone vs. flip phone, high-income vs. low-income.

Read the article in The Bay State Banner

A low-income fare would make a real difference

CommonWealth Magazine

Public support is high, need is great

TWO MONTHS before my daughter was due to be born, I developed preeclampsia and had to be rushed from Brockton to Tufts Medical Center to give birth. My baby was in the neonatal intensive care unit for more than a month, and after I was discharged, I came in every day to visit her. The journey back and forth would have been hard for any parent. For me, the financial cost added to the emotional toll. I was 16 and homeless, and it took everything I had to find the daily commuter rail fare to get back and forth each day to see my daughter.

Today, she is nine years old and thriving. We are on solid footing and live together in an apartment in Brockton. But I know that for other people going through a hard time like I was — or just trying to make ends meet — the cost of public transportation is still a barrier. The recent advancement of An Act Relative to Low-Income Fares by the joint transportation committee is a hopeful sign for riders struggling to pay the fares on the commuter rail, MBTA buses and subways, and on regional transportation authority (buses like the BAT here in Brockton.

Read the article in Commonwealth Magazine

Coalition Calls for Swift Action on Low-Income Fares

Charlestown Parriot Bridge

In the wake of the failure by the MBTA board to create a Low-Income Fare for MBTA riders, a popular proposal that garnered overwhelming support in public testimony, the Public Transit Public Good Coalition calls for swift action on providing a Low-Income Fare for MBTA riders.

Despite long-standing calls from environmental justice communities, labor groups and others for a low-income fare, the MBTA has refused to advance the Low-Income Fare program, citing budgetary constraints. The Public Transit Public Good Coalition calls on the MBTA to use a portion of the $500 million it recently reallocated for use on a range of one-time uses to fund a low-income fare pilot. We estimate a year-long pilot would cost $42 million dollars.

Read the article in The Charlestown Bridge