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MBTA Fare Hike: Protests Continue One Day Before Increase

BOSTON (CBS) -- The MBTA is moving forward with the controversial 6 percent fare hike Monday. On the eve of the increase, T riders were still voicing their frustration with the system.

Dozens gathered at the Boston Common to protest.

"Boston's train system is like not cutting it, [it's] always breaking," one woman said.

A man said, "The T is the most important thing that Boston has to offer. That's why this is a world class city. If we want to make it better, we have to put more money in and it shouldn't be done on the people who are least able to afford it."

Dozens protested the MBTA fare hike increase at a rally on Boston Common Sunday (WBZ-TV)

Among the protesters were Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone and City Councilor Michelle Wu.

"It's like making us pay for an amusement ride that doesn't work. Making us pay for an automobile without wheels. Making us pay for spoiled food. You would think there'd be a scent of shame," Curtatone said to the crowd.

Wu said, "Commuters across the region will have to choose between paying more for lousy T service or sitting in the worst traffic in the country. That's not good for our region. That's not good for individual families."

Timing is key. While the fare hike has been scheduled since March, the MBTA has experienced multiple derailments in recent weeks. A derailment on the Red Line at the UMass/JFK station caused so much damage to the signal system that MBTA GM Steve Poftak told riders not to expect regular service levels until after Labor Day.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh also believes the MBTA should put the fare hike on hold until regular service resumes.

Gov. Charlie Baker recently announced an immediate infusion of $50 million to create a new team that will focus on getting construction and repair work done faster. In the meantime, riders can expect more disruptions and closures while work is done.

The fare increase is expected to bring in an extra $30 million.

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