Fear High MBTA Fare Hikes No More

Now, the MBTA can't raise fares by more than 7 percent every two years.

charlie cards

Photo by Madeline Bilis

If you’re still reeling from this month’s T pass price increase, here’s good news: Governor Charlie Baker signed legislation that will lower the cap on fare hikes.

The legislation prohibits the MBTA from raising fares and passes by more than 7 percent every two years. Previously, the agency could raise prices up to 10 percent every two years.

In January, the board that oversees the MBTA unanimously voted to raise fares across the system by 9.3 percent. The new cap will prevent steep increases like the one that went into effect on July 1.

“The Senate’s proposal sought to provide MBTA riders with the reasonability and predictability on fares that they need, and to end any lingering questions about applying the fare hike statute,” Senate President Stan Rosenberg said in a statement.

If going from a 10 percent cap to a 7 percent cap doesn’t seem like very much, consider this—the monthly LinkPass, which used to cost $75, would now cost $80.25 if the 7 percent cap had been in place earlier. Instead, the monthly pass rose to $84.50 this month. And for commuter rail riders coming in from Zone 8 (like Worcester, for example), the $330 monthly pass would have risen to $353.10 instead of $363. The difference translates to saving about $120 per year. This is all to say that all of those pennies add up.

So, rest easy (for two years at a time) T riders, and keep tapping that little green card without fear of outrageously high hikes.