Melrose could face the elimination of all five MBTA bus routes that the stop in the city and weekend commuter rail service, along with higher fares and increased Oak Grove station parking rates, under proposals unveiled by the MBTA this week.
Facing a $161 million deficit and fares that have not been increased since Jan. 1, 2007, the MBTA released two scenarios along with an impact analysis that details the specific impact of each scenario.
The first scenario would stave off the most severe service cuts, but require steeper fare increases. Under this scenario, bus 136 would eliminate Saturday and Sunday routes, while bus 137 would eliminate Sunday routes. Both buses have stops in Melrose.
The second scenario would have less severe fare increase, but result in deeper cuts in service. Under this scenario, the five bus routes that have stops in Melrose—106, 131, 132, 136 and 137—would all be eliminated.
Both scenarios call for eliminating commuter rail service on weekends, along with commuter rail service on weeknights after 10 p.m. Ferry service would also be eliminated; subway service remains largely untouched.
The following chart shows fee changes under both scenarios:FARE AND FEE CHANGES
Current Scenario 1 Scenario 2 Subway fare (CharlieCard) $1.70 $2.40 (41 percent hike) $2.25 (32 percent hike) Bus fare (CharlieCard) $1.25 $1.75 (40 percent hike) $1.50 (20 percent hike)
Monthly LinkPass (unlimited subway and local bus)$59 (34.7 subway rides) $80 (33.3 subway rides)
$78 (34.7 subway rides)
Day LinkPass$9 $12
Week LinkPass$15 $20
Monthly Local Bus Pass$40 (32 single fares) $55 (31.4 single fares)
$48 (32 single fares)Parking at Oak Grove Station $5.50 $7.50 $7
The MBTA has scheduled a series of public hearings on the proposals over the next two months; the closest hearing to Melrose will be held in the Malden City Council Chambers, 200 Pleasant St., on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 6 p.m. Comments on the proposals can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to: Fare Proposal, 10 Park Plaza, Suite 3910, Boston, MA 02116.
Which scenario would you choose? What would you propose? Let's discuss the proposals in the comments below.