Facing a massive projected deficit in the near future, the MBTA has proposed two scenarios shore up its finances. One would nearly decimate bus service in Medford, while the other would leave most routes intact, but calls for significant fare hikes.
The MBTA has begun a series of meetings to take in public input on the recently proposed plans to shore up a projected $185 million deficit in 2013, including one on Wednesday night at 6 p.m. at Chelsea Public Library.
One transit authority proposal calls for significant route eliminations system wide with modest rate increases, while the other calls for fewer route cuts but more significant rate increases.
Under one scenario, nearly all bus routes would remain intact with the exception of the 325 and 355 express buses, which would have their weekday services eliminated, according to the report. This scenario calls for Charlie Card bus tickets to be increased from $1.25 to $1.75 and standard tickets to be increased from $1.50 to $2.25, along with other fare increases.
Under the second scenario, a total of 14 bus routes that service Medford would be cut entirely, according to a report from the MBTA. The plan would also see an increase in standard bus fare to $1.50 for Charlie Card holders, and an increase to $2 for a standard ticket, along with rate increases for other services.
Both scenarios call for the transit authority to stop funding Joseph's Transportation, a private bus company that offers service in Medford and Somerville. Both plans also call for increased fees for commuter rail services, though the second scenario calls for less significant increases.
In a phone interview Wednesday, State Rep. Paul Donato, a Democrat who represents Medford, said he and other local legislators were planning on holding a forum in Medford in coming weeks to hear from local riders on the proposed cuts.
Here's a breakdown of Medford bus routes and how they would be impacted under each plan (eliminated routes are in bold)
Scenario 1: 80, 90, 92, 94, 95, 96, 97, 99, 100, 101, 106, 108, 110, 112, 134, 325 (weekday), 326, 355 (weekday)
Scenario 2: 80, 90, 92, 94, 95, 96, 97, 99, 100, 101, 106, 108, 110, 112, 134, 325, 326, 355
For a complete list of proposed fare increases under each plan, see pages 11 to 20 on the PDF attached to the right.