Somerville Sees no Cuts to Bus Service in Changes Recommended by MBTA
Some other things could affect Somerville T riders, however, including single-person train operations on the Red Line and an average fare increase of 23 percent.
The MBTA and Massachusetts Department of Transportation announced Wednesday morning a series of recommended fare increases, service cuts and administrative changes to close a $185 million budget gap in fiscal year 2013. (The size of the budget deficit, previously stated to be $161 million, has been a bit of a moving target.)
Somerville walks away from the proposal relatively unscathed, as the MBTA is not recommending any of the cuts to Somerville bus service put forth in an earlier proposal.
One of the previous scenarios proposed by the MBTA called for Somerville to lose all or some of its service on the numbers 80, 85, 90, 92, 95 and 96 buses.
However, the fare and service changes proposed Wednesday could affect Somerville T riders in other ways.
Assuming these changes are approved at the MBTA board meeting on April 4, these changes will take effect on July 1.
The most notable changes proposed by the MBTA and MassDOT are fare increases. Fares, on average, will be 23 percent more, according to MassDOT literature.
Here's how that pans out:
|Type||Current price||Proposed price|
|Single ride bus with CharlieCard||$1.25||$1.50|
|Single ride subway with CharlieCard||$1.70||$2.00|
|Monthly bus pass||$40||$48|
|Monthly LinkPass (subway and bus)||$59||$70|
|Senior single ride on bus||$0.40||$0.75|
|Senior single ride on subway||$0.60||$1.00|
|Student single ride on bus||$0.60||$0.75|
|Student single ride on subway||$0.85||$1.00|
|Senior monthly pass (TAP)||$20||$28|
Student 5-day pass
Student 7-day pass
Some other changes that could affect Somerville riders or residents
- Single-person train operations on Red Line (expected to save MBTA $1.3 million per year)
- Off-peak fares for seniors comming in 16 to 18 months (this will allow seniors to ride during off-peak hours for less money)
- Enhanced patrols and programs to curtail fare evasion
- Creation of a "watch list" for low performing bus routes. Somerville Patch has left a message with MassDOT to find out which bus lines will be on the watch list but has not heard back at the time of this posting.
- Weekend service on E Branch of the Green Line is eliminated between Brigham Circle and Heath Street. This means Somerville riders will be able to take the E branch to places like Symphony Hall, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
- "Headcount reduction" of 51 positions (expected to save $1.8 million, plus more in terms of reduced pension and health-care costs)
- MBTA moves to Group Insurance Commission plan, known as GIC, in 2013 (expected save $9 million. The city of Somerville has also moved to the GIC)
- Fares for RIDE, a para-transit program for people who cannot ride the T, will increase from $2 to $4.
- $60 million of proposal requires legislative action, most notably a transfer of funds from the MassDOT Motor Vehicle Inspection Trust Fund