The Massachusetts Department of Transportation rolled out two scenarios on Tuesday for fare increases and service cuts on the MBTA public transit system. Officials said the cuts are necessary to help remedy a projected $161 million budget gap for fiscal year 2013.
Both plans will heavily impact Woburn commuters who utilize public transportation and riders may soon have to pay more for each ride. The first scenario plans to raise fares by 43 percent, while plan number two calls for a 35 percent hike.
In both scenarios, Woburn will lose two of its buses—the 354 (Woburn to State Street) and the 355 (Mishawum Station to State Street). The city's third bus—the 134 (North Woburn to Wellington)—will either stay the same or have a revised schedule depending on which scenario is chosen.
Woburn's commuter rail service, out of the Anderson Regional Transportation Center station, would remain the same during the day Monday through Friday according to both proposals. But, both scenarios call for an end to all Saturday and Sunday service, as well as any service after 10 p.m. Monday through Friday.
According to the MBTA, the greater number of service cuts would facilitate the lower fare increase under the second scenario.
Currently, a one-way commuter rail fare between Woburn and North Station costs $4.75. Under the first scenario, the fare would be $7. Scenario two would put the cost of a one-way ticket at $6.50. Parking at Anderson would remain at $4, unlike other north of Boston lots, including Oak Grove Station which would rise from the current $5.50 to $7.50 under scenario one, and increase to $7 under scenario two.
Under the first scenario, the cost of bus CharlieCards would rise from $1.25 to $1.75, while subway cards would rise from $1.70 to $2.40. Parking fees would increase 28 percent, while the second scenario calls for an increase of 25 cents on bus cards and subway CharlieCards increasing to $2.25. Parking fees would rise 20 percent.
Under both plans, commuter rail tickets would be good for only 14 days, instead of the current 180, multi-ride tickets for the commuter rail and ferry service would be eliminated and THE RIDE, which serves the handicapped, would become more expensive.
Additionally, both scenarios call for the elimination of weekend service on the Green Line E branch and the Mattapan high speed line.
The MBTA is planning to host more than 20 public hearings over the next several months to get users engaged in the process. The closest these will get to Woburn is Malden, on Feb. 16, between 6 and 8 p.m. at the City Council Chambers. Look here for a complete list of public meetings.