Two Wakefield bus lines and weekend and weeknight commuter rail service would be cut, and prices would rise under two proposed scenarios for changes to MBTA service that officials say are necessary to help remedy a projected $161 million budget gap.
Both plans released by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation on Tuesday would heavily impact Wakefield commuters who utilize public transportation, through cuts to service and price increases.
Cuts to Bus Service
The proposal calls to eliminate both the 136 and 137 bus routes, which run between Reading Depot and Malden Station. Under scenario one, Route 136 would be maintained on weekdays, but eliminated on Saturdays and Sundays. Route 137 would be eliminated on Sundays. Under scenario two, Routes 136 and 137 would both be eliminated.
According to the MBTA, the greater number of service cuts would facilitate the lower fare increase under the second scenario.
Cuts to Commuter Rail
Under both plans, the MBTA would eliminate weekend commuter rail service, while ending weeknight service at 10 p.m.
Currently, a one-way commuter rail fare between Wakefield and North Station costs $4.75. Under the first scenario, the fare would increase to $7. Scenario two would put the cost of a one-way ticket at $6.50. Parking at the nearest subway line, Oak Grove Station in Malden, would rise from the current $5.50 to $7.50 under scenario one, and increase to $7 under scenario two.
Under the first scenario, the cost of bus CharlieCards would rise from $1.25 to $1.75, while subway cards would rise from $1.70 to $2.40. Parking fees would increase 28 percent, while the second scenario calls for an increase of 25 cents on bus cards and subway CharlieCards increasing to $2.25. Parking fees would rise 20 percent.
Under both plans, commuter rail tickets would be good for only 14 days, instead of the current 180, multi-ride tickets for the commuter rail and ferry service would be eliminated and THE RIDE, which serves the handicapped, would become more expensive.
Additionally, both scenarios call for the elimination of weekend service on the Green Line E branch and the Mattapan high speed line.
The MBTA is planning to host more than 20 public hearings over the next several months to get users engaged in the process. The closest these will get to Reading is Malden, on Feb. 16, between 6 and 8 p.m. at the City Council Chambers. Click here for a complete list of public meetings.