MBTA fare changes aimed at increasing ridership, fairness begins July 1

Five fare changes will take effect on July 1, which the MBTA says are aimed at increasing fairness for low-income passengers, increasing ridership that has been reduced since the pandemic and simplifying commuters’ ability to perform journey transfers throughout the system.

Changes include lowering the price of the one-day link pass from $12.75 to $11, expanding second-transfer opportunities between the subway and buses, and allowing low-income riders to purchase bulk rides for the first time, according to the T.

“These changes are intended to improve fairness by closing gaps in existing fare structures for discount passengers and to simplify fare rules,” the MBTA said in a statement.

The T said the changes will give “discount passengers the value and convenience of buying in bulk across a range from single rides to monthly passes”.

Riders eligible for reduced fares include people with disabilities, Medicare cardholders, seniors age 65 and older, middle and high school students, and low-income people ages 18 to 25, T.

Discounted passengers, for the first time, will have the option of purchasing a seven-day LinkPass, at a cost of $10, which would still save commuters money after nine trips – a one-way trip discounted costs $1.10.

A full-fare passenger pays $22.50 for the same seven-day pass, which compares to a discounted monthly LinkPass, which will cost $30.

“We try to make all fare products available whether you’re in a discounted fare program or not,” Lynsey Heffernan, T’s deputy managing director for transit policy and planning, told the board. from MBTA in March.

One of the main changes, aimed at increasing ridership, is to reduce the cost of the one-day LinkPass from $12.75 to $11. The T said the cost of the pass, which allows unlimited rides in a single day, would be amortized after five subway rides.

“This pass had our highest multiple, in that you had to ride it more times than anything else for it to make economic sense for a person to buy,” Heffernan said. “So we think that aligns it with our other programs.

“It’s also, frankly, a fairness-enhancing decision for us, because the people who typically buy this pass are more likely to be either passengers of color or low-income passengers, compared to our system. in general.”

The T also plans to make the discounted LinkPass available for commuter rail travel in Zone 1A – the lowest fare zone – and on the Inner Harbor ferry. A final change will allow all combinations of second connections between buses, express bus lines and metros.

Heffernan said the changes would result in between $1.3 million and $1.6 million in revenue for the MBTA, using its projected ridership scenario for fiscal year 2023.

The T said this month it forecast a ridership scenario where fare revenue averages $39.5 million per month, which would be 68% of pre-pandemic levels.

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