Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Group holds People's Assembly inside State House.
The sound of “No” echoed through the halls of the State House Wednesday as more than 100 protestors affiliated with Occupy Boston gathered at the base of the Grand Staircase to protest the MBTA’s budget plan. The MBTA Board voted 4-1 today to approve the plan, which boosts fares by 23 percent, but spares Melrose's MBTA service from any cuts. The group, which began its rally outside on Beacon Street, declared public transportation a civil right and said that protests at recent MBTA hearings had gone unheard. “[So,] we are creating our own hearing, and we’re having it inside the State House,” said Katie Gradowski. She and Noah McKenna led the rally from the front steps, joined by a giant-sized puppet of “Charlie” bearing a “99%” button. …
The MBTA faces a budget deficit heading into the next fiscal year which begins July 1.
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 will raise most subway fares by 30 cents, bus fares by 25 cents, and commuter rail fares by at least $1.25. Single-ride commuter rail fares for Melrose's three stops, all in Zone 1, will rise from $4.25 to $5.50. The cost of a monthly Zone 1 pass will increase from $135 to $173. Meanwhile, some cuts in service—mainly involving bus routes, The Ride, and the commuter rail—were also approved. The five bus routes with stops in Melrose would all …
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Fares will increase by 23 percent next year under the MBTA's latest plan to fill next year's budget deficit.
Editor's note: This article was updated at 12:35 p.m. The MBTA announced a new plan to tackle next year's budget deficit that would increase fares by 23 percent and make $15 million in service cuts—but none affecting Melrose's bus or commuter rail service. According to a press release from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) emailed Wednesday morning, the MBTA would eliminate four bus routes and modify 14 others, but the five bus routes with stops in Melrose—106, 131, 132, 136 and 137—would all remain unchanged, according to the MBTA. (PDF of proposed bus route cuts attached.) Melrose's weekend commuter rail service would remain intact; it would be eliminated on the Kingston-Plymouth, Needham and Greenbush lines. …
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
The official public comment period on the proposed fare hikes and service cuts ended last night, but the Metropolitan Area Planning Council still has a point to make.
After months of debate over the MBTA's two proposed scenarios for cutting services and raising fares to meet their projected $161 million budget deficit, the period of public comment ended last night at the MBTA's final public hearing, held at a senior center in Brighton. In a Boston Globe article on the meeting, MBTA GM Jonathan Davis explained how they were going to move forward. According to him and the Globe, "neither of the two previously released scenarios will be selected by the agency’s board," but, "Instead, the committee that drafted those two proposals will take testimony from all of the hearings’ speakers and feedback from more than 5,600 e-mails and draft new recommendations." The decision comes with little surprise. …
The Melrose Board of Aldermen approved a $1 increase on the daily rate—and more expensive multi-day parking passes—for people who park in one of the city's three commuter rail parking lots.
Those who park at one of Melrose's three commuter rail stops to jump on the train into Boston will pay an additional $1 per day and more for multi-day parking passes, after the Melrose Board of Aldermen approved the increases Monday night. The aldermen by an 8-2 vote approved City Hall's request to bump the $2 daily rate to $3. Also, the $35 monthly passes would be eliminated, replaced by the option of purchasing at new pay-and-display machines either a 10-day pass for $27.50 or a 20-day pass for $50. At a previous meeting of the aldermen's Appropriations Committee, Melrose Department of Public Works Superintendent Bob Beshara said that the increased rates would help pay for the solar-powered pay-and-display machines, which will replace …
Monday, March 12, 2012
Commuter rail parking fee hike before the aldermen tonight; new times and locations for superintendent finalists' public meetings; live chat with the mayor on Wednesday.
Get Melrose Patch each morning in your inbox with our daily newsletter! 1) It might as well be spring: Sunny, with a high near 68. West wind around 7 mph. Tonight. a chance of showers, mainly after 4 a.m. Increasing clouds, with a low around 47. South wind around 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30 percent. (Forecast by the National Weather Service.) 2) No he never returned and his fate is still unlearned: The Melrose Board of Aldermen meets tonight at 7:45 p.m., and on the table is the proposed $1 increase in the daily parking rate for commuter rail stops, which was previously recommended for passage by the Appropriations Committee. 3) Take me to your leader: Note that the public meetings where residents can meet the Melrose Schools …
Friday, March 9, 2012
The Metropolitan Area Planning Council created an online calculator that allows residents to choose how to close the T's $161 million budget gap.
There's been an outcry over proposed MBTA fee hikes and services cuts that the agency says are necessary to close a $161 million budget gap next year. So what would you do? The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) created an online 'Fix the T' calculator at fixthet.mapc.org that allows residents to choose how they would make up the MBTA's current shortfall. Included are fare hikes and service cuts initially proposed by the MBTA; options presented by the MBTA Advisory Board; and others. According to a release from the MAPC, the MBTA is preparing to adopt a budget by April 15. "MAPC created this budget calculator to collect these ideas in one place and give people an opportunity to come up with their own plan," the release said. Even …
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Herald reports that plainclothes cops are being used to nab "piggybackers."
The Boston Herald reports today the MBTA police are cracking down on fare evaders. Plainclothes and uniformed police are being sent to stations around the MBTA's subway system to issue citations for violators, the Herald reports, and trolley and bus operators are being instructed to keep their rear doors sealed during boarding. So far this year, issued citations are up over 80 percent, the Herald said. Have you spotted fare evaders—or MBTA police catching them—at Oak Grove Station? Is this a significant problem? What do you think? Tell us in the comments and take our poll.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Melrose DPW Superintendent Bob Beshara said the rate increase would pay for new pay-and-display machines at the lots and for parking lot maintenance around the city.
Commuter rail riders who park at one of Melrose's three stations to head into Boston face a $1 per day increase in parking lot rates starting mid-March, under a proposal given an initial OK by the aldermen on Monday night. The proposed daily parking rate increase from $2 to $3 would pay for three new pay-and-display units at the city's commuter rail station parking lots. Currently only the Highlands stop has a functioning parking pay machine. Pay machines at Cedar Park and Wyoming have been inoperable since last summer, Melrose Department of Public Works Superintendent Bob Beshara said, resulting in an estimated $25,000-$30,000 in lost revenue for the city. Melrose Police Chief Mike Lyle said that his department hasn't been issuing parking…
Friday, February 17, 2012
137 speakers from Melrose, Malden and neighboring communities took to the podium to speak their mind—here's what some of them had to say.
Just under 400 people comprised the overflow crowd at Malden City Hall Thursday night, as MBTA passengers from Melrose, Malden and surrounding communities came to express their concerns about proposed cuts to local bus services.