April 17, 2014
The Youth Affordabili(T) Coalition (YAC), led by REEP and our partners, won a crucial victory for transit justice last month when the MBTA announced that beginning in July 2014, the price of the seven-day Student Pass, which includes weekends, will drop to the same price as the five-day Student Pass. For nearly a year, YAC has pushed the MBTA to remove the weekend barrier imposed on students. As a result, roughly 21,000 middle and high school students will switch over to the unrestricted pass when returning to school this fall.
A recent survey by Charlestown High School students working with REEP found that over 70 percent of students there currently miss out on basic opportunities such as school events, time with friends, jobs, arts and culture, and sports on the weekends, due to unaffordable fares. This victory is a major improvement for thousands of students in Boston and surrounding communities who use a Student Pass.
This change is part of an MBTA budget that includes a five percent fare increase on all modes of transportation. The sole exception is paratransit fares on THE RIDE, which was recently lowered from $4 to $3, thanks to the sustained, powerful organizing by Massachusetts Senior Action Coalition (MSAC).
Winning weekends for the Student Pass brings us one step closer to YAC’s goal of a $10 monthly Youth Pass available to all Boston youth ages 12 to 21. In the coming weeks, we will continue to push the MBTA to implement a Youth Pass pilot program this year.