Riders Petition To Freeze MBTA Fares After Derailments

mbta fare machines t pay boxes

The Government Center MBTA stop. (Mario Jarjour/WBZ NewsRadio)

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — MBTA commuters sick and tired of problems across the transit network have created a Change.org petition to freeze planned fare hikes until issues are fixed.

The transit agency is set to raise prices more than 6 percent on average come July. Basic bus fare will go up from $1.70 to $1.80, and rapid transit fare will increase from $2.25 to $2.40.

But some riders don't think the T deserves more money for poor performance.

"Their claim is that raising the prices is necessary for improvements, all while the network itself is crumbling," the online petition, which has already gathered hundreds of signatures, reads. "In the wake of multiple train derailments, breakdowns, fires and delays in the last few months, many passengers and residents feel those improvements are not happening fast enough."

In addition to the fare freeze, the petition also calls for a federal investigation into the MBTA.

The petition was created by Kyle Andrews, an East Boston resident.

"It's gotten to a point where this incident that happened a couple days ago with the Red Line has been the breaking point for a lot of people," Andrews told WBZ NewsRadio's James Rojas. "Overcrowding, system delays, and as well crumbling train stations like Ruggles. The whole system's in a state of disrepair, and state legislators know it, but they're not doing anything about it ... We're tired, and they're still advocating raising the fares on this system."

The incident he's talking about is Tuesday morning's derailment, which shut down service on the Red Line and left tracks and signal equipment damaged.

MBTA Red Line Resumes Service After Derailment Repairs
MBTA Red Line Resumes Service After Derailment Repairs
Delays remain, but the MBTA's Red Line is back in business a day after a derailment—the second in four days—wreaked havoc for commuters.

Andrews said he hopes to get 10,000 signatures.

Following the derailments, others, such as Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu, have also called for the T to refrain from raising fares.

Rojas spoke with several MBTA commuters, who were mixed on the freeze.

"You can't expect us to pay so much money and always not be on time, having all these delays and having these mechanical problems," one rider said.

"But, I also understand that they probably need more revenue to actually, maybe hopefully fix some of the stuff as well," said another.

MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak said Tuesday that the agency will hire a third party to address all the derailments that have occurred over the past two years.

You can view the petition here.

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WBZ NewsRadio's James Rojas (@JamesRojasWBZ) reports

 

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