MBTA Proposes Fare Changes On Various Forms of Ridership

If the changes are approved, they will go into effect on July 1

NBC10 Boston

Fare changes proposed by the MBTA on Thursday will go before the agency's board in March for final approval before potentially going into effect.

The changes, designed with an eye on closing the gap in existing fare structures, offsetting pandemic-related costs and increasing ridership where possible, would go into effect on July 1 if approved.



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"If approved by the MBTA's Board in March, these proposals will allow the T to continue to best meet the needs of riders through incremental fare improvements that reflect how they travel now and in the future, while minimizing revenue implications in this time of continued uncertainty," MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said.

Among the main proposals: The creation of a permanent five-day FlexPass for commuter rail riders, a lower cost for a one-day LinkPass and the introduction of a seven-day LinkPass for reduced fare riders.

First introduced in June 2020 as travel habits changed due to the pandemic, the five-day FlexPass for the commuter rail is a bundled fare valid for any five days of travel within a 30-day period and are good for unlimited travel within a 24-hour period, 10% off the cost of 10 one-way trips.

The cost of a one-day LinkPass would drop from $12.75 to $11 under the changes, if approved. A seven-day LinkPass, which is not currently available, is designed for reduced fare riders at a cost of $10, which would break even after nine subway rides.

The expansion of second transfers on buses, express bus routes and subways, was also proposed, along with monthly passes for reduced fare riders on the commuter rail, ferry and express bus.

Virtual meetings and hearings on the matter are scheduled for February before the MBTA board meets on March 24. Public input is welcome through March 3 on the matter.

For more about the proposed fare changes, visit the MBTA's website.

Lawmakers and transportation advocates have been ramping up pressure on the T to expand reduced-fare options, particularly amid the COVID-19 pandemic that wrought disproportionate damage on low-income areas and communities of color.

At the same time, calls have been growing for public transit to move away from reliance on fares altogether, with Boston Mayor Michelle Wu making the push for fare-free options a centerpiece of her campaign.

State House News Service contributed to this report.

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