FIFTEEN CENTRAL MASSACHUSETTS lawmakers are asking transportation officials to scrap a proposed increase in commuter rail fares, saying it will “result in a disparate financial burden” on people in their part of the state.
The MBTA on Jan. 28 announced a proposal to raise more than $32 million in new revenues by hiking bus, subway, and commuter rail fares an average 6.3 percent in July.
Under the plan, a one-way ticket from Worcester to Boston would go up by 75 cents to $12.25. “While the proposed increases may be in line with the rate of inflation in the Boston area, this rate does not apply to a gateway city such as Worcester,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board Chairman Joseph Aiello.
The letter said Zone 8 commuter rail riders — like those who travel between Worcester and Boston — would pay $25 more per month, for a $388 monthly pass, while MBTA riders who use monthly LinkPass for bus and subway trips closer to Boston would pay an additional $5.50 monthly.
The lawmakers said the fare increases could hinder efforts to boost MBTA ridership and encourage residents to commute by car or take a private Worcester-Boston bus that costs $11 one-way.
The letter is signed by Sens. Michael Moore of Millbury, Harriette Chandler of Worcester, Jamie Eldridge of Acton, Ryan Fattman of Sutton, and Anne Gobi of Spencer, and Reps. James O’Day of West Boylston, Paul Frost of Auburn, Harold Naughton of Clinton, Kate Hogan of Stow, and Mary Keefe, Daniel Donahue, John Mahoney and David LeBoeuf of Worcester.
They also asked the T to hold a hearing in Worcester before the Feb. 28 public comment deadline to hear the “often-overlooked voices of riders outside of the Greater Boston area.”