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Despite fare hike, MBTA ridership continues to grow

Projections had the ridership of the T decreasing after this year's fare hike was implemented, but commuters haven't gone running from the subway yet.

Once again, numbers released by the MBTA show that ridership continues to grow despite fare hikes in July that raised the cost of travel by an average of 23 percent.

Weekday ridership for September increased overall by 1.5 percent over last September, averaging 1.369 million passenger trips per weekday.

T officials noted the fact that more people were riding the system despite paying more to do so.

“The second consecutive monthly increase comes just three months after a new fare structure was implemented,” said Joe Pesaturo, a T spokesman.

While T officials were pondering the fare increase earlier this year, analysts had projected a 5.5 percent decrease in passenger trips.

Data showed that bus weekday ridership increased by 2.3 percent and subway ridership grew by 3 percent.

Acting T General Manager Jonathan Davis said the September numbers are encouraging because, unlike July and August, the month is more typical of regular MBTA ridership patterns due to school being in session and employees returning from summer vacations.

He also said that staff will continue to evaluate ridership levels before making a final judgment on the effects of the fare increase, but that the data suggests many people still consider the MBTA "an affordable and convenient alternative to motor vehicles."

Davis also cited job growth and the state's strengthening economy as primary reasons for the T’s robust ridership levels.

By the numbers


Officials had projected that the July fare increases would cause drops of 5.5 percent and 5.3 percent for bus and subway, respectively.


  • Green Line average weekday ridership decreased by 1.2 percent, which was better than the predicted drop of 5.3 percent.



  • Commuter Rail average weekday ridership decreased slightly by 0.2 percent, which was better than expected.

 
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