SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

May 22, 2014

Letter; Malfunctioning machines cost MBTA

To the editor:

On July 1, the MBTA is planning once again to stick it to the poor by raising its fares. Why? Because the MBTA claims it is billions of dollars in debt and needs to close the gap.

I am a frequent rider of the MBTA and depend on the bus to get to and from work five days a week. I buy a monthly bus pass to save money. I notice, however, when I board the bus that the machines they have to load the Charlie Cards that accept all the bills and coins is broken. On the LCD screen, it reads, ‘No Bills Accepted,’ and there is the driver waving everyone on. (Not me, though. I’m the guy with idiot stamped on my head because the MBTA has all my money for the month.) This results in everyone getting a free ride, which means the MBTA is not making money that day, which means the MBTA goes deeper in debt, which means we, the riders, inevitably get penalized by them hiking fares to close the gap because of their shoddy equipment.

It wouldn’t be such a big deal if this only happened once in a great while, but this happens at least two or three times a month on the one route I take. Multiply the number of buses/routes and think about the loss of money per day and month. Maybe if the MBTA had equipment that worked, it wouldn’t be whining about the huge financial hole it is in and wouldn’t need to take it out on the faithful riders who depend on it.

Christopher A. Pizzo

Peabody

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