Letters

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Boston-area youth need boost a T pass would offer

The state Transportation Department board voted to increase MBTA fares but urged T officials to consider discounting youth fares. Above, the Massachusetts Avenue Station.
Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe/File
The state Transportation Department board voted to increase MBTA fares but urged T officials to consider discounting youth fares. Above, the Massachusetts Avenue Station.

RE “BOARD, T officials debate lower youth fares” (Metro, May 15): A comprehensive MBTA youth pass is long overdue. While the T sells a discounted pass to high schools for select students, many still pay to get to school and can’t afford it. Meanwhile, the T does nothing for teens and young adults who are in alternative education or for those who are entering the workforce, for whom bus fare is typically one-fourth or more of a week’s pay.

It’s hard enough for city youth to thrive. Our transportation system should help give them a step up, not be stacked against them.

Kudos to John Jenkins, chairman of the board of the state Department of Transportation, for calling for a serious look at a youth pass during a board meeting this month.

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Boston-area youth have led an organized push for affordable youth fares for the last seven years. They’re joined by college students, community and senior organizations, and union members who see their own children excluded from opportunity by the T’s delays on this issue. Mayor Walsh’s recently released transition plan calls for an MBTA youth pass. It’s time for the T to act.

Kalila Barnett

Executive director

Alternatives for Community

and Environment

Roxbury

Richard M. Rogers

Executive secretary-treasurer

Greater Boston Labor Council

Boston