Thursday, April 5, 2012
Protestors with Occupy Boston headed to the State House as the MBTA approved fair hikes and service cuts.
Protestors with Occupy Boston gathered outside of the State House, Wednesday, before taking their message inside. Here's a peek at what that looked like. Read more:
Group holds People's Assembly inside State House.
The sound of “No” echoed through the halls of the State House Wednesday as more than 100 protestors affiliated with Occupy Boston gathered at the base of the Grand Staircase to protest the MBTA’s budget plan. The group, which began its rally outside on Beacon Street, declared public transportation a civil right and said that protests at recent MBTA hearings had gone unheard. “[So,] we are creating our own hearing, and we’re having it inside the State House,” said Katie Gradowski. She and Noah McKenna led the rally from the front steps, joined by a giant-sized puppet of “Charlie” bearing a “99%” button. McKenna noted that the day’s Boston rally was part of a national day of action, and he and Gradowski declared that the MBTA was balancing …
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
The MBTA faces a budget deficit heading into the next fiscal year which begins July 1.
After all of the talk, public hearings, and protests over the past three months, the MBTA Board voted Wednesday afternoon to boost fares 23 percent and cut back service in an attempt to close a projected $161 million deficit in the next fiscal year. Board members approved a plan in a 4-1 vote that would raise most subway fares by 30 cents, bus fares by 25 cents, and commuter rail fares by at least $1.25. The plan also calls to eliminate two bus routes that serve Medford: The 355, and the 710. The 710 route -- operated by Joseph's Transportation -- includes North Medford, Lawrence Memorial Hospital, and Wellington Station. The 355 is an express bus that runs from Woburn to Boston with a stop in Medford Square. Two other MBTA bus routes cuts…
The proposed increases would be disproportionately detrimental to youth, seniors and the disabled, protesters say.
If the Department of Transportation passes its proposed MBTA fare increases Wednesday afternoon, Curtis Shelnut could face some difficult decisions, such as which dialysis session to skip or which medical appointment to miss. "This is my livelihood," Shelnut, who lives on St. Botolph Street in Boston, said of his access to medical services, which is provided by the MBTA's The Ride. "I'm speaking from the heart now. They cannot do this to us." Shelnut was one of a dozen or so protesters in front of the State House late Tuesday morning. The group is staging a 24-hour vigil to urge the Legislature to cover the MBTA's $91 million deficit. "Failed Forward Funding legislation and Big Dig debt have bankrupted the T and should not be allowed to …
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Joseph's Transportation route through North Medford, Medford Square would be cut.
A new plan from the MBTA calls for a 23 percent rise in fares and four bus routes cut to close the transit authority's projected $161 million budget gap, according to an MBTA press release. Fourteen other bus routes would be modified under the proposal, according to the MBTA. The 710 bus, operated by private carrier Joseph's Transportation, would be cut as part of the proposal, according to the MBTA. The 710 bus services North Medford, Medford Square and Wellington Station. The 355 bus would also be cut under the proposal. It is an express bus that runs from Woburn to Boston and makes a stop in Medford Square. Previous proposals would have cut Medford bus routes far more significantly. Bus fares would rise to $1.50 from $1.25 and a subway …
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
The 'Fast Five,' a project of the T Riders Union in which members dress up as superheroes representing MBTA debt solutions, will be attending today's public MBTA Finance Committee meeting.
The Fast Five have attended multiple MBTA meetings in colorful garb, and today they're going to try and "take back our public transit system" during an open MBTA Finance Committee meeting with their proposals, which are matched 1-1 with each "superheroes'" identity. The meeting will be at today at 11 a.m. at 10 Park Plaza in Boston in the MBTA Boardroom on the third floor, and all are welcome to attend. Here's a rundown on the Fast Five and what they represent, from their website: Snow Removal Man seeks to "Transfer MassDOT's snow removal funds to the MBTA, as a mild winter has left much of the money unused." MBCR Rock Star recommends we "Hold MBCR accountable for service!," since "in the past two years, fines should have been assessed …
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
The official public comment period on the proposed fare hikes and service cuts ended last night, but the Metropolitan Area Planning Council still has a point to make.
After months of debate over the MBTA's proposed Scenario 1 and Scenario 2 for cutting services and raising fares to meet their projected $161 million budget deficit, the period of public comment ended last night at the MBTA's final public hearing, held at a senior center in Brighton. In a Boston Globe article on the meeting, MBTA GM Jonathan Davis explained how they were going to move forward. According to him and the Globe, "neither of the two previously released scenarios will be selected by the agency’s board," but, "Instead, the committee that drafted those two proposals will take testimony from all of the hearings’ speakers and feedback from more than 5,600 e-mails and draft new recommendations." The decision comes with little …
Friday, March 9, 2012
The Metropolitan Area Planning Council created an online calculator that allows residents to choose how to close the T's $161 million budget gap.
There's been an outcry over proposed MBTA fee hikes and services cuts that the agency says are necessary to close a $161 million budget gap next year. So what would you do? The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) created an online 'Fix the T' calculator at fixthet.mapc.org that allows residents to choose how they would make up the MBTA's current shortfall. Included are fare hikes and service cuts initially proposed by the MBTA; options presented by the MBTA Advisory Board; and others. According to a release from the MAPC, the MBTA is preparing to adopt a budget by April 15. "MAPC created this budget calculator to collect these ideas in one place and give people an opportunity to come up with their own plan," the release said. Even …
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
MBTA riders gathered to express their sentiments regarding possible fare hikes and service cuts last night in the Somerville High School auditorium.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
For many people who came to the MBTA's Somerville meeting last night, the transportation discussion didn't begin at the meeting at 6 p.m., but at the pre-meeting rally organized by Occupy Somerville and Groundwork Somerville. About 70 people gathered on Somerville High's front lawn at 5:30 p.m., waving signs and shouting slogans while community members spoke through a bullhorn. "Let the banks pay for this," said Matthew McLaughlin, a member of Occupy Somerville and Save Our Somerville, after explaining that several of the banks to which the MBTA is indebted were also the recipients of major government bailouts. This led to group cheers of "banks got bailed out, we got sold out," a slogan that resurfaced throughout the rally and meeting…
Friday, February 17, 2012
Seniors, students and commuters all came out to make their voices heard.
Editor's note: Check out video highlights of speakers from Thursday night's meeting. No protesters interrupted the MBTA's twentieth public meeting on proposed cuts for next year's budget, though transportation officials still got an earful from angry commuters Thursday night. A total of 137 speakers took to the podium on behalf of students, seniors, the handicapped, the ill and more, with a common message to MBTA General Manager Jonathan Davis: these proposals are unacceptable. Officials say a mixture of service cuts and fare hikes are necessary to close a $161 million deficit in next year's operating budget, with one proposed scenario closing as many as twelve bus lines in Malden - including routes many students use to get to Malden High…