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Madison Park Development Corporations Complete Streets Team has become active in the campaign to oppose the proposed fare increases and service cuts on the MBTA, which would disproportionately impact students, youth, seniors, people with disabilities, and low income individuals and communities. Several bus lines that pass through Dudley Station may be cut back or eliminated altogether, along with service cuts to the green line of the subway, elimination of night and weekend commuter rail service, and more. Complete Streets advocates have attended several meetings on this topic, including a public meeting at Roxbury Community College, a hearing at the State Dept. of Transportation, and most recently the citywide rally and hearing at the Copley Square library on 2/13/12.
Two residents with whom we work closely were among the first of dozens to take to the mic to testify that night. Vashti Massaquoi, a resident of Madison Park Village and a member of Community Organizing Committee and Complete Streets team, and Monique Blocker, an MPDC youth leader and neighborhood resident, received much applause from the crowd of several hundred for their comments about the harmful effects of fares increases and service cuts and the need for honesty, transparency, and more innovative, sustainable solutions to close the budget gap plaguing the MBTA and burdening transit users.
We will continue to raise this issue with our local, state and federal elected officials and work with our community partners to advocate for access to comprehensive and affordable public transit for all. Both Monique and Vashti have attended MPDC’s resident leadership workshops on topics such as advocacy and public speaking and we are thankful for their leadership and proud to see them putting into action what they have learned!