Boston City Councillor Michelle Wu has made clean, equitable transportation her personal mission — from advocating for bicycling to calling for a completely free MBTA. For now, though, she’s opposing the T’s proposed fare increase: You can sign the petition here — it will be delivered to the MBTA at an open meeting tonight 2/27.
Citing the urgency of addressing climate change and our worst-in-the-nation traffic (by some measures), Wu calls for a number of interim steps, short of a total re-imagining of the MBTA:
- Create a single youth pass with free, unlimited, year-round access to the MBTA. Currently, MBTA options for students and youth passes are needlessly complicated and inconsistent, and are turning the next generation of riders against public transportation.
- Extend the same free, unlimited, year-round pass to seniors residing in Massachusetts.
- Provide low-income riders with Charlie Cards and a low-income fare option, distributing these MBTA passes through agencies that administer SNAP and other means-tested benefits.
- Commit to rejecting distance-based bus and subway fares, which have been shown to be regressive, as more residents are being priced out of housing close to job centers.
- Rezone the commuter rail fares so that all of Boston is Zone 1A and no municipality is split between multiple fare zones.
- As the MBTA moves toward a cashless fare collection system, reject plans to spend resources on costly fare vending machines at every bus stop and instead designate the bus routes where riders will depend on cash as fare-free routes.
(via Jamaica Plain News)
Finally, we ask that you focus on building a sustainable funding base for public transit:
– Advocate for the Transportation & Climate Initiative.
– Implement smarter tolling and congestion pricing.
– Support increased surcharges for TNCs (such as Uber and Lyft) that encourage shared rides.
– Support legislation to enable regional ballot initiatives that would allow voters to identify and raise revenues for transit priorities.
Baker’s MBTA management has always been short on vision (to say the least). This administration needs some pressure.