April 15, 2013

4 arrests made in Mass. paratransit fare hike protest

BOSTON — The Lowell Sun reported that seven public transit activists blocked a street outside the State House for about 15 minutes, demanding more funding to avoid future fare increases on senior citizens and disabled riders. Four activists were arrested. The move follows Gov. Deval Patrick administration’s board doubling fares for door-to-door paratransit service The Ride last year.

Counter-protesters expressed concerns about adding potential toll hikes and gas tax increases on drivers.

Inside the State House, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Brian Dempsey launched a floor debate on a $500 million tax plan, calling the economic recovery "one of the weakest" and saying slow growth makes it difficult to support all of the spending priorities outlined by Gov. Deval Patrick in his $34.8 billion fiscal 2014 budget, which relies on $1.9 billion in new taxes. For the full story, click here.

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