Between the efforts of Michelle Wu and the soft-drink-sipping stunts of BMG’s own pro-transit state rep, the MBTA Fiscal Management and Control Board heard an earful against the proposed fare hike. And they’re listening! It’s a breath of fresh air to hear someone on the board talking like this:
Brian Lang, a director of the Fiscal and Management Control Board, said the T shouldn’t be raising its fares in isolation from the rest of the transportation system. He called on political leaders to “grow a little courage” and assess higher fees on ride-sharing apps such as Uber and Lyft, boost the gas tax, and increase tolls at peak travel periods and lower them at off-peak times.
“I’m not an expert on this stuff, but it’s kind of like no-brainers,” he said, noting that the revenue measures could provide financial support for the MBTA while simultaneously discouraging people from driving on their own or using Uber and Lyft.
“To talk about generating revenue for the T only from the T is completely wrong headed,” Lang said. “If you look at any of the systems from around the world that are world class, it’s all coordinated.”
It should be obvious: No transit mode exists in isolation. Neither should they be funded in isolation: We need to plan for the future and fund various modes appropriately — with an eye to social equity and bringing down carbon emissions. Glad to hear the T’s Control Board is getting the message; now it’s (long past) time for the Governor and Legislature to listen up.