No matter how you look at it, the proposed MBTA fare hikes are bad for business. “We subsidize subway, bus and commuter rail passes for our employees,” says Susan Labandibar, President of Tech Networks. “These fare increases could cost us nearly $10,000 per year.”
Remote Services Manager Diane Tirschel has calculated her costs of commuting from Attleboro by commuter rail, with her 50% TNB subsidy. It’s about even: $197.50 per month for the train, versus $191 per month driving, with a gallon of gas costing $3.50. “I’m on the fence right now as it is,” says Tirschel. “I would like to contribute to making the environment better, but [the fare hikes] are making that hard for me.”
“Adding thousands of cars to the roads is not only environmentally irresponsible, but detrimental to economic growth in the Commonwealth,” says Labandibar. “Our subsidy has allowed several employees, including me, to avoid car ownership altogether.” But the fare hikes could change that. Cordaryll Monroe walks to the commuter rail station from his home in Ayer, but “was considering getting a car when I heard about the MBTA raising their fares.”
Seventeen years ago, when she founded Tech Networks of Boston, Susan Labandibar made sure our offices were close to transit. “These fare hikes and service cuts are undercutting a key element of our business strategy,” she says.