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MBTA Ridership Rises Despite Fare Hikes

Ridership this August is up 1.2 percent versus last August. Last year, analysts had predicted a drop of 5.5 percent due to higher fares.

Higher fares don't seem to be deterring residents from riding the T.

That's one conclusion to draw from numbers released by the MBTA that show overall ridership has risen 1.2 percent this August versus last August. It was on July 1 that the transit agency hiked fares and scaled back some services to close a budget gap.

Analysts had expected the changes, which boosted a CharlieCard subway ride from $1.70 to $2, to drive down ridership by 5.5 percent.

Instead, ridership dropped only 0.1 percent in July versus July 2011. Then, in August came the 1.2 percent jump. 

Digging into the August numbers, ridership was up more on some services more than others. For instance, on heavy rail (i.e. the Orange, Red and Blue lines), ridership was up 2.7 percent. Light rail, (aka the Green line) was up 1.4 percent. Bus ridership slipped 0.6 percent.

It was a different story for The RIDE, a paratransit service where fares doubled - its ridership dropped by 16 percent. Ridership may erode further starting Monday, as the T implements a $1 surcharge for certain types of RIDE trips.

The State's Secretary of Transportation continues to push for a regional and statewide fix to chronic funding trouble for the MBTA.

"The robust demand for public transit," Secretary Richard Davey said in a press statement, "is a clear sign that we need to maintain a strong transportation system in the Commonwealth."

Have have the MBTA fare hikes impacted your commute? 

Liana Rogue October 09, 2012 at 02:04 PM
Because there is no other option to get to work unless you want to sit in a 2 hour gridlock to go 5 miles. We need the bike path to extend to Boston because lets face as much as I'd love to never leave Malden most jobs are not there! Also can we get some hubways. Clearing driving is not a solution and neither is the broken orange line commute nightmare that starts at Malden Center. Let's try biking. Down with the MBTA and the nightmare orange line!
Tony H. October 09, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Who doesn't like the Orange Line? Dirty, old, rusty, dimly lit cars that frequently have at least one door broken. Frequent disabled trains that the MBTA doesn't notify riders of until AFTER the problem is cleared. Stations like Haymarket and State Street that have a patchwork of low quality repairs and, in corners, the smell of urine. Forget the Green Line extension, the Orange Line needs money to replace all the trains and upgrade the stations!
Bruce October 09, 2012 at 06:47 PM
This is only going to make them feel more justified with their crappy service and surly attitudes. I'm sorry, but i don't want the extra money we're spending paying for the salary of a fat woman sitting on a stool to yell at passengers over a loud speaker when there are shuttle buses. I honestly don't think they need a station between wellington and sullivan, it's too close of a gap, such a bloated waste of time and money!
Tony H. October 09, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Agreed! Why couldn't they just run frequent bus service between Sullivan and Assembly Row? Do you really need to delay thousands of passengers a day with an extra station? It's absolutely outrageous. They can't fund the system they already have, yet they feel the need to add even more to maintain! And hearing about the continued push for the Green Line extension after Somerville is already getting the Assembly Row station nauseates me. That rant being said, I do think the Assembly Row development moves the economic center of gravity slightly north from Boston and Malden stands to realize offshoot economic benefits. Property values along Orange Line north should outpace those in all other metro communities. My write-up on that requires more space than available here.
Ronnie October 10, 2012 at 03:17 PM
How about some Transit cops around Malden Station. Why do our police have to deal with the MBTA's problems? Why were those benches put in? The Malden syayion needs a major make over and it starts with some MBTA police being there.
paul surette October 20, 2012 at 08:57 PM
For my money, the National Transportation Authority should be citing the MBTA for EVERY single train that has a non-functioning door! THAT, to me, is a dangerous condition! If you need to evacuate a train while in a station, and you have a door that doesn't function, THAT is a recipe for disaster! Period! The MBTA does get federal dollars, so why hasn't anyone approached the Transportation Authority about these unsafe conditions? Just bizzare to me!
paul surette October 20, 2012 at 09:02 PM
Bruce, the city of Somerville for years, has lobbied long and hard for the new Orange Line station at Assembly Sq. The mindset being, that new merchants will move into Assembly Sq. if they have a train stop there. It's a cash cow for the new parking lot there as well! Somerville is helping to foot some of the bill for the new construction, and the Feds are also contributing money. I believe Somerville is also trying to have the Green Line extended their too.
LI December 21, 2012 at 05:45 AM
of course we love MBTA. smell, loud, it hurt your ears when the train comes at some of stations because of the noisy when trains are arriving

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