IT’S GOOD to see Governor Patrick begin taking action on increasing funding for transportation (“Tax hike on the table for roads and transit,” Page A1, Nov. 17). As the governor and Legislature move forward on funding, they must consider the public transit needs in all parts of the state.
While the MBTA is in serious financial trouble and serves millions of riders, we should remember that it is one of 16 regional transit authorities in Massachusetts. Regional bus systems are vital parts of local economies. As the only form of affordable transportation, they create economic opportunity for many people by providing access to jobs and school.
Many regional bus systems face significant deficits that could force them to raise fares and cut service. This would adversely affect lower-income people, seniors, people with disabilities, and youth. Right now, riders often have to wait an hour for buses and service ends at 6 p.m.
As the Legislature and the Patrick administration consider funding for transportation, there must be serious consideration for funding regional transit authorities. Investing in public transit systems will improve lives and boost the economy of communities across the state.