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The Boston Globe



Colleges and the T: Automatic for the students

A new proposal to automatically enroll some college students in an MBTA pass program offers an intriguing approach to improving the region’s transit system. It’s an idea worth exploring with college leaders — and an example of the kind of unconventional thinking that the cash-strapped T must promote to close its chronic budget shortfalls.

The idea, unveiled by the MBTA Rider Oversight Committee, would offer students at Boston-area colleges a deal. They’d get 50 percent off T passes — potentially saving $35 a month. But to qualify, the student body would have to vote to automatically add the cost to the annual fees charged to all students at that campus. As a deal-sweetener, the T would add more late-night service options, responding to the common gripe that the T closes too early for clubgoers.

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