By Bonnie Adams, Government Editor
Westborough – Residents who take the commuter rail into Boston will soon have to reach a little deeper into their pockets to pay for their rides, thanks to an increase in ticket prices just announced by the MBTA. According to Selectman Tim Dodd, a recent study found that the average commuter from Westborough will pay approximately $60.00 more per month to ride the commuter rail. Those increases are anticipated to go up on July 1.
The increases are necessary, according to MBTA officials, to help offset a deficit of $161 million in fiscal year 2013. Compounding the MBTA's woes, which most likely go on for decades, is the $3.6 billion debt which the agency inherited from costs associated with the “Big Dig.”
MBTA officials have set up an Advisory Board (http://www.mbtaadvisoryboard.org/) made up of representatives from each of the 175 communities (including Westborough) that have MBTA service.
The Westborough Board of Selectmen is asking residents to consider applying to be the voluntary representative for the town on the board. According to Dodd, that representative would serve on the board to “provide an annual review of the MBTA annual operating budget, evaluate the MBTA's Capital Investment Program, receive notice of substantial changes in mass transportation, and consult with the MBTA to maximize ridership and transit oriented development.”
Residents who may be interested in this position should send a letter of interest and resume to the Westborough Board of Selectmen, Town Hall, 34 West Main St., Westborough, MA 01581, or email the documents to [email protected].
The MBTA Advisory Board will be meeting on May 1 at 9:30 a.m. in the State Transportation Building in Boston to discuss the impending fee increases. Because a Westborough member will most likely not be appointed by then, Town Manager Jim Malloy will be attending that particular meeting.
Residents are also welcome to send any comments regarding MBTA service to Malloy at [email protected].