There has been an 18 percent decrease in RIDE customers since June 1, when fares more than doubled for people with disabilities. Credit: Getty Images
Advocates for seniors and people with disabilities are pleased about the MBTA's recommendation to scale back fares from $4 to $3 for The RIDE, the door-to-door transit service.
The Massachusetts Senior Action Council, along with other advocacy groups like the Boston Center for Independent Living and the Public Transit – Public Good Campaign, has been working for more than two years to get the price for the travel services lowered.
In a joint statement released Tuesday, the MBTA and the MSAC said this was a vital step forward in the mission for transit equality. However, they say the job is not done.
"The MBTA’s decision to recommend that the MassDOT Board vote on Dec.11, 2013 to reduce RIDE ADA fares from $4 to $3 is a positive and significant step to mitigate the impact of the July 1, 2012 fare increase," the statement reads, adding that the various advocacy groups will "continue to work collaboratively towards long-term solutions that address the affordability and sustainability of the RIDE service, including examination of means-testing to create a tiered fare structure and examination of approaches to meet the transportation needs of RIDE customers at all income levels."
In July 2012, fares for The RIDE were increased from $2 to $4, restricting many elderly and disabled individuals from leaving their homes on a daily basis. Groups protested the fare increases in a variety of ways, including blocking traffic in front of the State House by sitting in wheelchairs in the middle of Beacon Street, Metro previously reported.