84% of Mass. residents support low-income fare

Support is up 5 points from December

MASSACHUSETTS RESIDENTS overwhelmingly support a discount for low-income riders of the MBTA, according to a new poll.

The poll indicates 56 percent of residents strongly support and 27 percent somewhat support a low-income fare, which means more than 4 of every five residents in the state are on board.

The new numbers are up five points from December 2021, when a poll asking the same question found 79 percent of those surveyed either supported or somewhat supported a low-income fare.

The poll also found strong support for eliminating fares on buses run by the MBTA and the regional transportation authorities across the state, with 46 percent strongly supportive and 32 percent somewhat supportive.

There was even fairly strong support for blending the two approaches, with 43 percent of those surveyed in support of making all buses free and offering a low-income discount on all other transit services.

No legislation establishing  a low-income fare at the MBTA is pending on Beacon Hill, but Senate President Karen Spilka said this week she is looking to have a discussion with her colleagues about including such a provision in the transportation bond bill making its way through the Legislature.

The poll of 1,002 Massachusetts residents was conducted from June 8 -12 by the MassINC Polling Group. The poll was paid for by the Barr Foundation, a big supporter of making public transit accessible.