Good news for Wellesley commuter rail riders: The MBTA has retracted its policy to levy a $3 surcharge (or “non-discount” as the T was calling it) on people who buy tickets on board, even those in towns like Wellesley where there are no off-the-train ticket windows. The surcharge was to be part of a broader fare increase set for July 1 that is designed to help get the MBTA’s financial house in order.
Rep. Alice Hanlon Peisch (D-Wellesley) sent a letter to MBTA General Manager Jonathan Davis on June 22 requesting a waiver of the surcharge for customers boarding in cities and towns with no ticket window or kiosk available to purchase tickets in advance. “Although I understand the need for a more efficient fare collection system on the commuter rail, the $3 surcharge unfairly penalized those customers who do not have access to ticket windows or kiosks in their communities,” said Representative Peisch. “Not a single station in my district offers a location to pre-purchase tickets, and this policy would have required customers to drive many miles simply to purchase one ticket. As the Commonwealth’s economy continues to improve, the state must remain committed to offering safe, affordable, and equitable public transportation, and I am pleased the MBTA chose to rescind this unfair policy.”
Twenty-two House members from various regions across the Commonwealth signed on to Representative Peisch’s letter to General Manager Davis, an indication of how widespread the opposition to the plan was.