While the message is becoming clearer that Bostonians won’t put up with a level of service cuts or fare increases anywhere near what the MBTA’s proposing in order to shore up its financial troubles, protesters aren’t backing down. Yesterday’s rally on the steps of Boston Public Library proved more residents, from students to seniors, demand to be heard in the fight to save the city’s public transit from being crippled.
Since the proposals were released more than a month ago, riders have mobilized on social media and attended some of the nearly two dozen public meetings held so far. Most, if not all, have denounced plans to raise fares as much as 400 percent for some users and cut weekend ferry, commuter rail and E line service and up to 25 percent of bus lines.
More than 100 gathered at the library’s steps near Copley Square to urge state legislators to put the T on the road to sustainable funding. Many allege cuts as severe as those proposed will divide the city and render the many low-income workers and students dependent on public transit effectively immobile. The cries against the MBTA continued inside, when at least 300 people packed into the Rabb Lecture Hall and another overflow room to listen to more than 70 speakers rail on Governor Deval Patrick and state leaders for allowing the MBTA to get in such dire financial straits.