FRAMINGHAM – State Representative Maria Robinson (D-Framingham) and Senator Becca Rausch (D-Needham) have filed legislation to add two members to the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB) who will specifically represent the perspective and needs of riders.
The bill, SD.2333, is a targeted response to the MBTA Board vote on March 11 to increase subway and commuter rail fares by six percent, despite significant opposition from state and local lawmakers and MBTA ridership.
“The needs of riders, and particularly the needs of commuter rail riders, have been ignored for too long,” Senator Rausch said Tuesday. “Representative Robinson and I agree; this legislation is an important first step to building a reliable and equitable public transit system. Increasing fares drives riders away when we should be encouraging usage. Supporting and improving ridership should decrease traffic congestion and reduce environmental impacts. When it is more expensive and less reliable to take the commuter rail into Boston than it is to drive, we all lose.”
“Senator Rausch and I relied on trains and buses as students and young professionals, so we are extremely familiar with the daily woes of T users,” said Rep. Robinson. “Now we have the honor of representing commuter rail riders that struggle with uneven service, rising costs, crowded trains, and overloaded parking. This bill will provide better representation of all these riders in important discussions and decision-making about fares and services.”
By current statue, the Fiscal Management Control Board is made up of five members, three of whom serve on the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), one of whom has experience in transportation finance and one of whom has experience in mass transit operation.
None of the current board members are statutorily designated to represent riders.
The legislation increases the size of the Board from five to seven members. One new Board member would represent greater Boston subway and bus riders, and the other new member would represent commuter rail riders.
When the fare hike takes effect, Rep. Robinson’s constituents in Framingham will pay $311.00 for a monthly MBTA commuter rail pass into Boston.
Media release submitted to SOURCE by Rep. Maria Robinson’s office.