The Boston City Council agreed today to look at withholding the more than $85 million the city coughs up for T service every year until the T can meet performance guidelines that would be set after public hearings across the city.
Councilor Althea Garrison (at large) proposed the hearing because, she said, the T is looking at increasing fares for a system that she said remains biased in favor of richer suburbs instead of poor urban neighborhoods, in particular in Boston.
Garrison's proposal won the quick approval of Councilor Michelle Wu (at large), who has been visiting T stations of late to collect signatures against the fare increase, now scheduled to go into effect this summer. The fare increase is "regressive, backwards for so many reasons," including the potential to increase car traffic and its resultant pollution, she said.
Councilors Frank Baker, Lydia Edwards, Annissa Essaibi-George, Ed Flynn, Kim Janey, Josh Zakim, Andrea Campbell and Wu signed on as co-sponsors of the measure.
Campbell said she would forward the measure to the council's committee on planning, development and transportation, which Wu chairs, to consider alongside measures Wu has proposed to force better service out of the T.