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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Trouble with a Capital T

Police+keeping+protestors+and+citizens+out+of+the+full+meeting+room.+
Police keeping protestors and citizens out of the full meeting room.

 

 

 

The Dorchester People for Peace organization sponsored a “Save the T” rally Feb. 13, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at The Boston Public Library in Copley Square to coincide with a town hall meeting organized by the MBTA.

The rally was held to advocate against the fare hike and service reductions proposed by the MBTA. They plan to raise rates by as much as 43 percent overall. The MBTA has been holding public meetings to gauge the community’s response and hear concerns.

“We can have an affordable and reliable public transit system that benefits all of us, whether we ride, drive, walk or bike. We are calling on Governor Patrick and our legislators to invest in a first class public transit system now,” read the Save the T flyer.

Judea Beatrice, who will graduate from UMass Boston this year, described the protest. “There were 250 people chanting and picketing,” Beatrice said

When the MBTA meeting began at 6:00 p.m., 100 people were left standing outside. The meeting had already reached full capacity. According to UMass Boston student, Stasha Lampert, the line to get into the meeting at Copley was out the door before the event started.

At 6:30, Save the T ralliers attempted to generate an impromptu general assembly in the Boston Public Library, and were told to leave the building by the police.

The remaining protestors took to the street chanting “they say cut back, we say fight back”, “no cuts, no fees, transportation should be free”, “they say fare hikes, we say fare strikes”.

Beatrice was critical of the MBTA public meeting process, “More than 100 people waited to get into the public meeting, which shows the undemocratic nature of the MBTA, not choosing a venue that would allow everyone to speak,” Beatrice said.

During the meeting sponsored by the MBTA, a lot of youths spoke. Some youths stated that they themselves, or someone they know would need to drop out because the fares are too high for them and their schools to afford.

Seniors and persons with disabilities will be deeply affected by the hikes. The price of The Ride, which service seniors and persons with disabilities ,will rise from $2.00 to as much as $12.00

Organizations said they’d have to shut down if these cuts in service were passed. One organization, the Food Project, operates on weekends, and relies on the weekend service of the commuter rail to bring employees in and out of Boston to work.

People said they’d lose their jobs, or be unable to find jobs since they wouldn’t be able afford to attend job interviews.