FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 25, 2016
Contact: Geri Spanek
Contact: Laura Burns
HULL— How much is too much? Joan Meschino, Democratic candidate for State Representative, knows the answer to this question.
“The nine percent average fare increase imposed by the MBTA on July 1 is excessive and creates an unnecessary financial burden for South Shore commuters who rely on boat and rail service to travel to work, school, medical appointments, downtown Boston, and Logan Airport,” said Meschino.
Government should encourage the use of public transportation instead of making it less accessible and more expensive, she said.
“When I served on the MBTA Advisory Board I was a vocal opponent of the fare increase and I have advocated for fare reductions,” said Meschino, a member of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, an organization that promotes sustainable transportation by coordinating transportation funding programs and advocating for transportation finance reform. “I will lead the fight to cap future fare increases at no more than five percent every two years, if elected. This is a priority.”
When commuter fares take a bigger bite from household budgets, the result across-the-board is less disposable income to help fuel the local economy, said Meschino. “More money spent on tickets and monthly passes means less money spent at locally owned businesses, such as coffee shops, restaurants, clothing stores, other retail establishments, and service providers,” she said.
“Fare increases also force commuters back into their vehicles,” said Meschino, a former Hull Selectman and lifelong district resident. “The result is more traffic and greater dependency on fossil fuels. This creates more air pollution, increasing the risk of asthma and other respiratory illnesses.”
Meschino is a leading proponent of more state funding to support public transit. “Making public transportation a more viable option will increase ridership,” she said. “Commuter boat service is especially important to this region and should expand to other communities.”