LOWELL -- No one from the public spoke at an informational meeting held in Lowell by the MBTA Monday regarding a proposed 5 percent increase in train fares that will increase the cost of commuter rail trips by 50 cents for most local communities.
The meeting, held at Middlesex Community College's, was one of several such informational sessions held around Eastern Massachusetts by the MBTA as the agency considers a possible fare increase.
The MBTA's Director of Development Joe Cosgrove said the fare increase was anticipated in transportation finance legislation that passed the Legislature last year, and that the MBTA board will vote on the increase, possibly as soon as its meeting on May 14.
If approved, the fare increase will take effect on July 1, at the start of fiscal 2015.
The meeting was aimed at getting input from the public regarding the proposed fare increase, but no one signed up to speak following Cosgrove's presentation.
The proposed increase would see single ride fares increase by 50 cents for commuters heading to Boston from Lowell, North Billerica, West Concord, Concord, South Acton, Littleton, Fitchburg, North Leominster, Shirley and Ayer.
Single ride fare would increase by 25 cents from Wilmington.
Monthly passes for those commuting from Lowell and South Acton would increase from $275 to $289. Monthly passes from Wilmington would increase from $212 to $222.
The MBTA expects the increase to boost revenue by $20 million to $24 million per year, while decreasing ridership by less than 1 percent.
Anyone who wants to comment on the proposed increase without attending a meeting can do so by emailing email@example.com, by calling 617-222-3200, or by writing to the MBTA at 10 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116, attention Fare Proposal Committee.
For more information visit: www.mbta.com/about_the_mbta/?ID=23567
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