MBTA Hearing on Service Cuts Tonight
Senior Citizens will be among the vocal critics of the agency's proposal to increase fares significantly and eliminate some services.
Dozens of local seniors are set to speak out against transit service cuts and fare hikes at 6 pm tonight, as the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) hosts a field hearing in the Lynn City Council Chambers. The MBTA listening session presents a rare opportunity for North Shore residents to highlight the devastating impact of two scenarios proposed by agency staff earlier this year.
Detailed maps of proposed service reductions reveal that many senior housing and medical facilities could be rendered virtually inaccessible to those without automobiles. Significant cuts or outright elimination of the 400 bus line, for example, would affect nearly all travel between Salem, Saugus, Peabody and Lynn. Beverly, NSMC Union, and Kindred hospitals are amongst several healthcare facilities that would be completely isolated – along with nearly a dozen area senior housing developments and nursing homes.
Fare increases proposed by MBTA staff would also have a disproportionate impact on seniors and the disabled. While local bus or subway fare for the average adult would increase only 40% to 41.2%, the Senior Transportation Access Pass (TAP) and paratransit services like The RIDE would see fares spike anywhere from 125% to 500%.
“With impaired sight and mobility issues, it is very difficult for me to travel,” said Denise Jackson, a legally blind resident of Louis Barrett House – a senior housing development that would be cut off from public transit under an MBTA scenario. “If these fare hikes and service cuts go through, it will be impossible for me to get to and from my appointments.”
In addition to their testimony tonight, local seniors will present detailed service reduction maps to clearly display the impact of current MBTA proposals on fellow North Shore residents.
WHAT: Seniors speak out against fare hikes and service cuts at MBTA field hearing
WHEN: Tuesday, Feb. 7 – 6 PM to 8 PM
WHERE: Lynn City Council Chambers, 3 City Hall Square – Lynn, MA