Use new revenue to cut MBTA rail fares

RE (“TAX hike on the table for roads and transit,” Page A1, Nov. 17):

In 1997, it cost $3.50 to take the train from Kingston to Boston on weekends, with free parking. Family fares were also available. Now, family fares have been abolished and the fare is $10 with a $4 parking fee — four times the 1997 cost and vastly exceeding the rate of wage increases for most riders. Meanwhile, the agency forges ahead with plans for the billion-dollar New Bedford/Fall River line.

It is my hope that if a new tax is levied to support the T, we can once again utilize weekend and holiday service with a more affordable weekend fare structure. These lines were built after decades of environmental studies and public hearings, with the stated purpose of removing cars from the road and benefiting the environment. As the MBTA knows, the cliché “build it and they will come” does not always apply if riding the trains is cost prohibitive to residents already struggling in a weak economy.

Richard S. Prone


The writer served on the Old Colony and Greenbush Citizens Advisory committees and as Duxbury’s representative to the MBTA Advisory Board.