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MBTA Service Cuts: Actions?

January 20th, 2012
mbta

The MBTA is proposing massive service cuts. I think this is foolish, and instead we should get them more money [1]. What can I do to help? There are meetings, but what does complaining to the MBTA accomplish when the solution isn't within their control? [2] I decided to call my reps. (You can look up yours from your address). At Toomey's office I left a message. At Jehlen's I spoke to someone. They wanted to know how the cuts would personally affect me (80, 90, 95, 96 eliminated), where I lived, and they explained to me that Jehlen is currently advocating for (1) a gas tax increase and (2) a switch to a graduated state income tax, both of which would raise money that could go to the MBTA.

What else should I do?

Update 2012-01-25: I just got a call from a staffer at Toomey's office. He says that they want to avoid cuts and that they see the only real solution being increasing the T's revenues, possibly by fare increases but ideally by increasing the sales tax or something similar.


[1] Moving irrelevant big-dig debt away from the MBTA would help the most. Fare increases are also fine, but making up the whole shortfall this way would be too much. If you're curious about current subsidy (revenue, expenses, trips) by mode I found a 2011 presentation on 2009 data (p14) that compares the MBTA with "peer transit agencies". Raising money with increased property, sales, or other taxes could also work.

[2] Showing up would probably mean being counted, by the MBTA and maybe newspapers, but does that help much?

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