Wednesday, April 3, 2013
The new plan would create $500 million in new revenue over the next five years.
State House and Senate lawmakers have announced a joint transportation plan which would close an estimated five-year, $2.3 billion transportation budget gap through tax increases to cigarettes, gas and new taxes on business technologies. The plan, which would create $500 million in new revenue, focuses on long-term financing for the state’s regional transit authorities and the state department of transportation, asks the MBTA and MassDOT to continue to hit revenue and savings targets, moves employees off of the capital budget for three years and fully funds the state ice and snow budget. The plan was unveiled at a State House news conference on Tuesday, April 2 led by Massachusetts Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo and Senate President …
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
The MBTA's new chief is hoping lawmakers find new revenue sources for the transit agency.
The MBTA's new general manager says she is waiting on lawmakers to decide on potential future revenue sources, including tax increases, before pursuing fare hikes or service cuts, according to the Boston Globe. New MBTA Manager Beverly Scott told the Globe she wants the state Legislature to find new revenue sources over the next two months. Scott projected the MBTA's budget deficit for 2013 at $132 million. Scott made the fare hike comments as the MBTA revealed its ridership figures have recently increased despite recent fare hikes and service cuts, according to the Globe. The jump means more cash for the transit agency but not enough to fill its deficit. Gov. Deval Patrick is expected to submit a detailed coument on the funding …
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
The plan approved by the MBTA last week only covers the budget for fiscal 2013, meaning the agency will likely have another budget deficit next year.
With the 23 percent fare increase plan approved by the MBTA last week, the T is set for the coming year, but next year could be a problem. That is, unless legislators can help close the gap. Lawmakers are currently looking at a plan that would divert $51 million to the MBTA, coming out of vehicle inspection fees. The Boston Globe, however, reports that some of that money could go to other transit authorities around the Commonwealth. “Because the money was generated from everywhere around the state, I think there’s a strong case that this fund should go to all transit authorities,’’ said Mattapoisett Democrat William Straus, in the Globe. NECN reported this week that the MBTA expects to see a deficit of $110 million in the fiscal 2014 …
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
New rates and cuts will start in July.
UPDATED, 3:42 p.m., with info from South End Patch, which attended the meeting: The approved plan is intended to close the MBTA's $161 million budget gap and is the third scenario floated by the MBTA after holding many public hearings, including one in Waltham. The prior two scenarios called for more drastic fare hikes and service cuts. Opponents of the approved plan have been protesting outside of the State House since yesterday. Also, the approved plan does not eliminate the need for possible fare hikes and service cuts next year as the agency deals with billions in debt. ---------------------------------- The Board of Directors for the MBTA has approved its final plan to raise fares and make service cuts, some of which would impact …
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Take our poll!
The MBTA is scheduled to make its final decision on the plan to raise fares and make several service cuts. Overall, the impact would be minimal to Waltham, but still, it may burden you. Will you adjust your MBTA or driving habits as a result? Take our poll below and don't forget to leave a comment.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Details of the plan will be announced later today.
UPDATED, 1:03 p.m.: more info from the MBTA, Route 554 bus's weekend service would be eliminated, impacting Waltham residents. Also, the terminus for Route 555 would move from Riverside T station in Newton to Central Square in Waltham, which is between Common, School, Lexington and Carter Streets. UPDATED 11:39 a.m., with information from the MBTA: The MBTA board plans to meet on April 4 to possibly approve the plan. The E branch of the Green Line would remain running, but only up to the Brigham Circle stop. From there riders could take the 39 bus to get to the Heath Street area. Overall, service changes would result in $15.4 million of savings and fare increases would generate $72.9 million. One-time revenues would garner and $61 million…
Friday, March 23, 2012
The MBTA is processing the feedback from its two proposals, and support for the two proposals looks to be low.
For people who attended the various meetings about the MBTA service proposals, it may come as no surprise that their service cuts and fare hikes seem to be unpopular. Now, however, after an MBTA analysis of the feedback, the outlook for either scenario doesnt look good. Out of over 5,700 e-mails, 400 letters, and more than 1,800 comments from its series of public hearings, a majority of the feedback was in opposition to the cuts. With only 48 percent of the comments received categorized, only nine supported the first scenario, and 21 recommended fare increases. Roughly 40 of the e-mails and letters supported the service cuts in plan two. The full figures are available in the PDF to the right.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Board thinks they may be able to ease the proposed cuts
Yesterday's MBTA Board meeting had some unexpected visitors yesterday, for what Boston.com called "an unusually charged meeting." They also report that protesters people gave call-and-response chants during the meeting, and about 100 more protesters were turned away at the door for fire code reasons, were heard outside chanting “We are! The 99 percent!’’ and “Banks get bailed out! We get sold out!’’ A press release issued by Mass. Senior Action and Mass. Uniting invited people to attend the meeting as well, to encourage the MBTA's board "to adopt alternative funding solutions that do not balance the T’s budget deficit on the backs of riders." But T officials still say service cuts and fare hikes will be included in future budget plans, …
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
The official public comment period on the proposed fare hikes and service cuts ended last night
After months of debate over the MBTA's proposed Scenario 1 and Scenario 2 for cutting services and raising fares to meet their projected $161 million budget deficit, the period of public comment ended last night at the MBTA's final public hearing, held at a senior center in Brighton. In a Boston Globe article on the meeting, MBTA GM Jonathan Davis explained how they were going to move forward. According to him and the Globe, "neither of the two previously released scenarios will be selected by the agency’s board," but, "Instead, the committee that drafted those two proposals will take testimony from all of the hearings’ speakers and feedback from more than 5,600 e-mails and draft new recommendations." AN earlier forum was held this …
Could the MBTA Cuts make Boston and Waltham less healthy? A recent Metro Area Planning Council details some of the possible adverse effects.
The MBTA is keeping Waltham and the Boston area healthy, according to a study from the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC). A new report to be unveiled at the State House this afternoon details some of the impacts to public health as a result of the MBTA's proposed cuts. “These findings show that land use and transportation decisions can profoundly affect the health of our region’s residents,” said Marc Draisen, Executive Director of MAPC in the press release. “Our transit system is vital to keeping Greater Boston healthy.” Some of the statistics from their report indicate that health costs could go up $272.1 million under scenario one, and $386.9 million under scenario two, which is more than the $161 million budget gap the MBTA …