Saturday, April 6, 2013
Should the state forge ahead with Gov. Deval Patrick's bold plan to invest now? Or should it follow the Legislature leadership's proposal to address the bottom line before embarking on bigger initiatives?
Massachusetts legislators this week answered Gov. Deval Patrick's ambitious plan to raise $1.9 billion for transportation and education with a $500 million plan of their own, which says the governor is asking for too much, too soon as the Bay State shakes off the effects of the Great Recession. Who's right? Should the state forge ahead in a bold plan to invest now? Or should it cautiously address the bottom line before embarking on bigger initiatives? While Patrick's plan includes funding for both the state transportation system and increased education funding from preschool through college, House and Senate lawmakers eschew new revenue for education, focusing solely on closing the transportation budget gap over the next five years. The …
Friday, November 23, 2012
Gov. Deval Patrick plans to ask lawmakers to raises taxes to make up for the shortfall in Massachusetts' transportation system. What options should they consider and what's off the table?
Would you be willing to pay more at the pump, have a tracking system on your car that taxes you by the mile, or see tolls on state highways? Those are just some of the possibilities looming as Massachusetts looks to erase the state's transportation system's deficit. The Boston Globe reported that Gov. Deval Patrick will ask lawmakers to raise taxes in order to pay for a transportation system—from the MBTA to roads and bridges—that continues to operate in the red. The administration will present a specific proposal by Jan. 7. One option is raising the gas tax, a route Patrick sought in 2009 only to be rebuffed by the legislature. Patrick sought a 19 cent increase while business groups endorsed a 25 cent increase. Ultimately, the state …
Monday, October 29, 2012
Gov. Deval Patrick said Monday night that the MBTA will resume service on Tuesday and state offices will open at 10 a.m.
State offices will open at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Gov. Deval Patrick said in a Monday evening update on Hurricane Sandy from the bunker at the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency headquarters in Framingham. On his Twitter account, Patrick said that all RMV Class D drivers' tests on Tuesday had been cancelled. Patrick also said non-essential state employees should show up for work at 10 a.m. and he is leaving it up to individual school districts to determine whether they will be open on Tuesday. On Sunday night, Patrick urged all school districts to close on Monday. The worst of the storm is expected to last through 11 p.m. and there is a high tide at about midnight. The MBTA said in an alert issue at about 9 p.m. on Monday that it will …
Monday, July 2, 2012
It will cost more to ride the T starting this weekend — and some routes will have decreased service.
The MBTA's fare increases began yesterday. They're being imposed — along with service cuts — to close the transit agency's $160 million budget gap. Those service cuts also begin Sunday. There are other changes, like an increase in the surcharge for getting your Commuter Rail ticket on the train (if the station where you board has ticket machines). THE RIDE will add a more expensive $5 zone starting Oct. 1. For a complete list of changes taking place on the MBTA system beginning Sunday, visit this T link or check out the PDFs attached to this post. The cuts do not apply to services with the Lowell Regional Transit Authority's #15 bus line, which has four stops in Westford. Here's a look at the new costs:
Thursday, April 5, 2012
The MBTA faces a budget deficit heading into the next fiscal year which begins July 1.
It's official: Westford residents heading to Boston from Ayer, Littleton, Acton or Concord will be paying more if they continue to take the MBTA Fitchburg commuter line. After all of the talk, public hearings, and protests over the past three months, the MBTA Board voted Wednesday afternoon to boost fares 23 percent and cut back service in an attempt to close a projected $161 million deficit in the next fiscal year. Board members approved a plan in a 4-1 vote that would raise most subway fares by 30 cents, bus fares by 25 cents, and commuter rail fares by at least $1.25. Meanwhile, some cuts in service -- mainly involving bus routes, The Ride, and the commuter rail -- were also approved. The new fares are effective July 1. Many people …
Thursday, March 29, 2012
The MBTA's final plan to close its fiscal 2013 budget gap includes rate hikes for commuter rail riders but does not cut weeknight and weekend service, as was earlier proposed.
Regular commuter rail riders headed to Boston will pay more for a monthly pass based on the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority’s latest – and final – plan to hike rates to close a budget gap. The T’s final plan was unveiled on Wednesday and is headed for a final vote by the MBTA Board of Directors next week. If approved, the new rates would go into place on July 1. The first proposal to close the estimated $185 million budget gap was presented in January, calling for rates hikes of up to 40 percent and elimination of commuter rail service after 10 p.m. and on the weekends. The feedback indicated that riders favor keeping MBTA service in place. “In response, the final proposal relies more on fare increases than service reductions,” the T …
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
The Metropolitan Area Planning Council announced its opposition last week to proposed Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority measures that would raise fares and possibly cut service, but will these moves make a significant impact on Westford?
Last week the Metropolitan Area Planning Council announced that proposed moves to either raise fee prices and possibly cut service by the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) to correct a $161 million budget gap were unacceptable. However, if service was cut or fees were raised, would this make a significant impact on Westford? Would Westford residents commuting to Boston see more traffic on Route 3, 93 and 128 each day due to possibly decreased mass transit ridership, or would traffic stay the same? If you the nearby use regional rail lines in Littleton and Lowell, would you still use them? What about the Lowell Regional Transit Authority's four bus stops in Westford (Westford Valley Marketplace, Westford Regency, Residence Inn, …