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Breaking Down the MBTA Proposal’s Local Impact

Lexington’s Transportation Services Coordinator, Jeanette Rebecchi, weighs in on the MBTA’s March 28 proposal to close its $185 million budget gap in fiscal year 2013.

Wednesday morning, the with a 23 percent fare hike, targeted service cuts and administrative changes.

In an email to Patch yesterday, March 29, Transportation Services Coordinator Jeanette Rebechi broke down potential impacts on Lexington.

NOTE: Following Rebecchi’s email Thursday, MassDOT announced in a press release that the Patrick-Murray Administration filed transportation reform legislation that would “authorize several steps to allow the MBTA to close its FY13 structural deficit, including a shift of Motor Vehicle Inspection Trust Fund surplus funds.”

Here's Rebecchi’s analysis of the MBTA proposal as it impacts Lexington:

  1. No reductions or schedule changes in MBTA bus service to Lexington (Routes 62 &76)
  2. Single bus ride fares become $1.50 for adult and $.75 for students and seniors using the Charlie Card, and $2.00 for adults using the Charlie Ticket.
  3. Combined bus + rapid transit fares become $2 for adults and $1 for students and seniors using the Charlie Card, and $4.50 for adults using the Charlie Ticket.
  4. Cost of the Ride becomes $4 within the ADA Territory (within ¾ mile of the bus routes) and $5 for the non-ADA Premium Territory. Parts of Lexington fall in these Premium areas.
  5. The annual MBTA subsidy for is reduced to $40,000 (from $80,000)

Regarding her reaction to the MBTA proposal, Rebecchi agreed the chief impact on Lexington residents would be financial, but said the proposed fares are comparable to those charged by other regional transit authorities.

As well, the MBTA cutting support for Lexpress, while disappointing, should not impact immediate operations as the draft budget for fiscal 2013 prepared for the worst-case scenario.

Rebecchi was critical, however, of the proposed RIDE fares, which she said “seem a bit steeper compared to other RTAs.”

“A $10 round-trip within a Premium Service area is quite burdensome for some of our community’s most vulnerable residents,” she said. “I would also like to know how the MBTA will administer a program where residents within the same town are paying two different rates. Is that even fair?”

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