T riders plan march as MBTA prepares 2014 budget

mbta ride protest boston
Boston police move a T protester from the street to the sidewalk Monday to open up the roadway.
Credit: Michael Naughton/Metro

Members of the T Riders Union are planning a march Wednesday from Dudley Square to Park Plaza, where they will demand the MBTA offer customers access to affordable and reliable public transit.

At 1 p.m. the T board will vote on a budget that assumes the state will close the transportation authority’s $118 million operating deficit for the upcoming fiscal year — although there is no guarantee the revenue will come through.

If the state legislature and governor can’t reach an agreement, the T may be forced to close the hole by using funds meant for preventative maintenance, raising fares and cutting service.

According to the T Riders Union, the T board heard thousands of rider testimonies in 2012 opposing fare increases and service cuts and calling for investment in public transit. Despite the public outcry, fares went up by an average of 23 percent on July 1, 2012, and service cuts were implemented.

The march will begin at 11:30 a.m. Following the board meeting, the T riders will meet outside Boylston Street T station for public conversation.



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