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    Burdens on transit riders are too heavy already

    THE FUNDING solution for the MBTA must not further burden transit riders (“Tax hike on the table for roads and transit,” Page A1, Nov. 17). Much of the MBTA’s crippling debt is attributable to the Legislature, which saddled the T the mitigation costs for the Big Dig without providing adequate funds to make the payments. Consequently, T fares have been increased four times in the past dozen years, service has been cut, and maintenance deferred.

    Relying on fare increases is not the answer. They place an unfair burden on lower-income families, seniors, and those with disabilities who rely heavily on public transit. They are still living with the impact of the last fare hike that included a doubling of the fares for The Ride, which provides service to those with disabilities.

    We need to invest more money in public transit all across the state and must do so in a way that does not price the most vulnerable off the trains and buses they need. Any transit fare or tax increase must mitigate the impact on those least able to afford it.

    Eugene B. Benson

    Legal counsel

    Alternatives for Community
    and Environment