Newly minted MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak rolled out a proposal to increase fares by 6.3 percent over the next three years at a Fiscal and Management Control Board meeting on Monday.
If the fare hikes are approved, starting July 1, a ride on the T will cost an extra 15 cents, a local bus ride would go up 10 cents, a 7-Day LinkPass would see a $1.25 increase, and a monthly pass would cost $90
“Fare hikes are an unpleasant bit of this business, but they are an important part of the MBTA’s funding stream,” General Manager Steve Poftak said. “Doing it on a periodic basis where the rise is not quite so dramatic, I’m hopeful this lands a little bit easier than in the not-so-distant past where the fare increases were larger.”
According to a statement posted on their website, T officials say “ this proposed increase, which is in line with the rate of inflation in the Boston area, is necessary for the Authority to continue making system investments to improve service.”
The plan would bring about the first fare increase in three years, and the fourth since 2012, in hopes of generating an additional $32.5 million in rider revenue. Poftak said the “reasonable” proposal would allow the T to stay on track with its commitment to invest $750 million over the next few years for repairs and modernization work in hopes for creating better service.
Massachusetts state law prevents the MBTA from increasing fares by over 7 percent, and only allows increases every two years. Should this proposed increase go through, the earliest the MBTA could potentially raise fares again is July 1, 2021.
The T said that new vehicles for The RIDE, additional funds to help completely replace the Red Line fleet, and accessibility improvements at bus stops and commuter rail stations are examples of projects supported by the most recent fair hike in 2016.
The MBTA is hosting public outreach programs and is taking public comment on the proposal at a series of public meetings in Framingham, Woburn, and Boston and online through February 28, 2019.