Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Boston Globe: "MBTA service will be cut significantly in early 2021"

The Boston Globe has the following:
"The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority will curtail service next year after the agency’s oversight board finalized a plan Monday to reduce subway frequencies and eliminate weekend commuter rail trains on several lines in response to low ridership during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The package, approved 3-2 by the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board, is more limited in scope than a plan the agency had presented in November that frustrated advocates and political leaders, but still represents a considerable reduction in service.

The MBTA described the budget cuts as a short- to medium-term measure to take advantage of unprecedented declines in ridership, with most changes taking effect between January and March. But with ridership forecasts murky at best, officials said they have not developed plans for service levels during the fiscal year that begins in July, when coronavirus vaccines may be widely available."
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and CommonWealth Magazine has an article on the same topic
"THE MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board approved a series of scaled-back service cuts on Monday and then, in an apparent swipe at Beacon Hill, voted not to raise fares on bus and subway riders until service hours and ridership on those transportation modes return to pre-COVID levels.

Brian Lang, a member of the control board, proposed the fare amendment after expressing frustration about lawmakers who tell him and his colleagues not to cut service but then do nothing to provide the revenues needed to maintain service.

“Taxes have turned into a dirty word,” Lang said. “The Legislature is afraid of it.”
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