By Andy Metzger, State House News Service / WBJournal
"A fare is just a more specific type of fee. It's the price you pay to ride something," said Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation President Eileen McAnneny. She distinguished MBTA fares from other government charges, noting the agency has its own budget and sets its own fares, similar to how the University of Massachusetts sets tuition.
Fiscal watchdogs like Eileen McAnneny, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, call that effort critical, especially with a fare increase looming. “It's going to take a while to fix but they really have to, before they go to riders and ask for more money and increase fares, I think it's clearly critical that they make sure that they take care of some of those issues and certainly overtime is one of them,’’ McAnneny said in an interview Tuesday afternoon.
Andrew Bagley, research director of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, argues that the state's gas tax remains a viable source of funds for transportation, but the levy needs to be increased to keep up with the state's needs. "But that's going to be a real challenge for the state's leaders," he said.
The Transportation Finance Commission was created as an independent body to examine and evaluate the financial health of the State's transportation agencies and authorities, and make recommendations based on their findings.