Boston’s Youth Affordabili(T) Coalition calls for $10 MBTA youth pass, plans MassDOT protest

Young activists march at an April 2013 youth pass rally. Photo: YAC/Facebook
Young activists march at an April 2013 youth pass rally. Photo: YAC/Facebook

As MBTA fares stand now, one-third of Boston-area youth between the ages of 12 and 21 can’t afford to pay their way to work, school, healthcare, sports and extra curricular activities, according to organizers behind an escalating push for a $10 monthly MBTA youth pass.

Currently, junior high and high school students in that age bracket are able to purchase a $28 monthly pass, a fare that the Youth Affordabili(T) Coalition says is too costly for local teens.

“We polled the youth population and this is the figure young people feel they can afford,” said YAC Coordinator Caroline Casey, 23.

The coalition is not the first to call on an extremely discounted youth pass. For the past eight years, activists from the Boston-area Youth Organizing Project, Youth Way on the MBTA Boston Student Advisory Council and more have called for the pass, Casey said.

The group’s voice is getting louder, with an online petition collecting nearly 500 signatures, and a paper petition collecting hundreds more. Next Wednesday, activists are expected to embark on a Boston Youth Power March from Park Street to MassDOT, where they will stage a die-in, sometimes known as a lie-in, and deliver testimonials.

Organizers are using Facebook and Twitter to collect supporters, and are rallying followers with the hashtags “#YOUTHPASS” and “#NOHIKES.”

When asked whether the T would consider a $10 youth pass, a spokeswoman pointed to the already discounted youth pass and said transit officials maintain an active dialogue with activists.

“‘Active dialogue’ is an interesting way of putting it,” Casey said. “The MBTA is fully aware of the suffering… This line that their hands are tied is a myth.”

Organizers haven’t lost hope, Casey said, but with little to show after years of campaigning, the frustration is nearly tangible.

“They’re really angry,” she said. “They’re tired of being told there is no money, then reading in the paper that $20 million will go toward late night service because a few yuppies want to get drunk and go home late.”

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Man dies trapped in elevator shaft at Bronx…

A man in his twenties died after being trapped in an elevator shaft of a Bronx building early Monday, police said.

International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

National

New York Times calls for legalization of pot

The New York Times editorial board on Saturday endorsed a repeal of the federal ban on marijuana, becoming the largest paper in the nation to back the idea.

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…