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Possible MBTA Rate A Pain For Some, A Shrug For Others

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s proposed 6.3% hike in fares is raising some concerns for Rhode Islanders who commute to Boston.

One large subsector of the region’s commuter population, students attending Boston’s 35 colleges and universities, are among those who would be directly impacted by the hike.

“I wouldn’t be too happy about it,” said student Christina Lamb, 20, of the proposed increase, “just because the point of taking the train is because it’s so affordable. I know it wouldn’t go up much, but that does add up.”

Lamb, who currently attends Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Boston, travels back home to Providence via commuter rail on an almost weekly basis.

“I rely on the train just to get to and from school at a decent price,” Lamb said. That price could rise by up to 75 cents per ride if the proposed hike is approved.

Despite being a regular commuter rail rider, and an on-campus resident in Boston, Lamb said she does not meet the required amount of public transit usage to qualify for a monthly CharlieCard pass, the price of which would increase from $84.50 to $90 under the proposed plan.

The revenue generated by the fare increases would go toward making improvements to the system’s tracks and overall infrastructure. To Rhode Island resident David Larson, who relies less frequently on the commuter rail but still appreciates its convenience, that’s a good thing.

“Since I’m only an occasional user, the rate won’t really impact me, but I’m happy that they’re making upgrades to the system,” Larson said.

If approved, the new rates would officially take effect on July 1st.

Providence train station
Providence train station