MBTA looks at service cuts, fare hikes

LITTLE MORE THAN a year into its existence, MBTA service to T.F. Green Airport may be trimmed, along with service to Providence, to help close a budget gap at the agency.
Posted 2/28/12

PROVIDENCE – Commuter train service to Rhode Island that state officials have worked to expand over the past decade would be scaled back under budget cutting plans by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority detailed Monday night.

Weekend commuter train service and all weekday service after 10 p.m. would be eliminated throughout the MBTA system under the two scenarios the agency is considering to make up a projected $185 million structural budget deficit for fiscal 2013.

In addition, commuter rail fares throughout the system would rise either 35 percent or 43 percent under two scenarios being considered for the July 1 start of the new fiscal year.

The service cuts would mean the loss of 19 weekend commuter train stops in Rhode Island and four weekday stops in the state, according to the R.I. Department of Transportation.

Under the fare increases being considered the current $7.75 one-way fare from Providence to Boston would rise to between $10.45 and $11.25 depending on which scenario is picked.

The MBTA’s board of directors are scheduled to vote on the proposed fare increases and service reductions in April.

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I guess this means that the weekend rail link between T Green and Boston is going away before it could gain any traction. Never mind the new Wickford Junction monstrosity that hasn't even opened yet. Good job, as always, Rhode Island.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 | Report this

$28 million for a train station in Washington County and I'd read earlier that the TF Green link has been a disappointment to say the least.

Get Jet Blue to come here. They are hiring up a storm at Logan.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 | Report this

I often used the commuter rail on weekends to visit my

daughter and her family.

With the cost of gas continuously rising and the ridiculous cost of parking in Boston, the elimination of the commuter rail on weekends means no trips to the museums, red sox, aquarium, etc. Seems a little overkill to eliminate ALL weekend runs. How about just reducing the service by 50%? A modest increase in fares is to be expected but 45% increase AND

no service? Guess Boston really doesn't want Rhode Islanders' tourist dollars.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 | Report this

This story doesn't make clear which state is responsible for what portion of Rhode Island's commuter rail service.

Have R.I. officials really done all they can to fund and promote the state's stake in MBTA?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 | Report this
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