Town Manager Speaks Out Against MBTA Cuts
Michael Caira said eliminating services would negatively impacted the state's economy.
The MBTA hopes to change rates and schedules. But according to Wilmington’s Town Manager and other officials around the state, the changes could have a much bigger impact.
If the group approves the plans, public transportation prices would increase and nighttime and weekends services would be cut. Town Manager Michael Caira said he can understand the rate increase helps the MBTA cut into its budget deficit. What Caira said he takes issue with is the cuts to services.
“Some people may not be able to work if they go through with those changes,” said Caira. “There are a lot of folks who work in Boston from this area, and they rely on the train for their livelihood. It impacts the entire economy if they start cutting back on those opportunities. Yes, it will clog the roads as well, but also on weekends, people who would normally go into the city will probably not go in as often.”
The first proposed scenario would include a price increase of 43 percent, while a second a spike of 35 percent. Both would mean cuts or eliminations to commuter rail services.
On a previous Patch article about the cuts, reader Ken Peffer said he rides the train every weekday from Wilmington. His monthly pass currently costs $163, but would rise to $240 if the changes are approved.
“What can you do?” said Peffer in the comments section. “Driving into Boston is just no a practical option. They have us handcuffed.”
Caira said there may be a way for Wilmington’s Board of Selectmen to voice their opinion on the issue to MBTA officials. He added, however, that no such steps have been made yet.
The Town Manager said the town currently pays about $470,000 for the trains to run through Wilmington, an increase of about $30,000 from previous years.
“To think we’re paying more now and receiving less makes little or no sense to me,” said Caira. “I live here and work here so I don’t have to commute, but there was a time in my career that I did and having the ability to go in on the train was a great convenience. People will still be able to ride the train who have a normal work week. Others, they have a real beef. I expect the state is going to address that.”