T oversight chief favors fare hike

Light turnout so far at public hearings

THE CHAIRMAN OF THE MBTA’S OVERSIGHT BOARD said on Wednesday that he believes the underlying arguments for a fare increase remain valid. He made his comment after hearing a top agency official say the two fare hike proposals the T is considering are attracting a light turnout so far at public hearings.

Brian Shortsleeve, the T’s chief administrator, told the agency’s oversight board that the 12 public meetings on the proposed fare increases and commuter rail schedules, to date, have drawn a median attendance of 20 people per meeting. The highest attendance was 150 people at a meeting in Boston and the low was 10 in Newton, he said.

Shortsleeve said 5,400 people have used the T’s website to calculate what impact the proposed fare hikes would be on them, and 1,800 of those people went on to post public comments on the website.

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