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The present bill before the State Legislature to cut student commuter fares in half follows an old method of vote-getting. By reducing fares, the voter thinks he is profiting. However, should the bill pass, the difference in the student's fares must eventually come out of the taxpayer's pocket. This will come either through increased Metropolitan Transit Authority fares for non-students, or by increased taxation to the cities and towns elsewhere in the state.
Furthermore, the bill in its present condition is much too inclusive. Although aimed at the M.T.A., the bill does not specify the M.T.A. Thus the student commuter could ride any airplane, steamship, railroad, or bus in Massachusetts at half fare. A student who lived in a distant Massachusetts community could ride home at half price.
Even if the bill were amended to include only the Metropolitan Transit Authority, the results would still be financially disastrous. The line, now under state ownership, has a $7,000,000 deficit which increases $600,000 every year. Half-fare student rides are a fine idea, but not for a transportation system which is already hopelessly insolvent.
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