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After MBTA Fare Hike, UC Augments Transportation Funding

In response to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s vote earlier this month to increase prices, the Undergraduate Council will provide full funding for round trips on the T to student organizations requesting transportation grants to match the hiked fare.

The UC’s Finance Committee voted unanimously Wednesday to increase the maximum UC transportation subsidy student organizations may receive from $4.20 per person to $4.50 per person, reflecting the increase in MBTA fares.The committee’s vote follows the decision of the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board on March 7 to make fares more expensive. Beginning July 1, the cost of a T ride with a CharlieTicket will increase from the current $2.65 per ride to $2.75, while the fare with a CharlieCard will increase from $2.10 to $2.25.

“Traditionally, the UC transportation funding has matched the cost of two-way transportation on the T,” Finance Committee member Evan M. Bonsall ’19 said. “If the T rates are going up, it’s only fair that we raise our funding limit to reflect that.”

The new UC subsidy maximum will remain consistent with the price of a round-trip T ticket with a CharlieCard.

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The Finance Committee considered raising the funding cap to $5.50 per person during their policy meeting Sunday, to match the cost of a round-trip T ride with a CharlieTicket. However, after some debate, the committee decided to revert to funding transportation at the CharlieCard ticket price, as it has done previously.

“We want to make everyone aware that CharlieCards are free,” Finance Committee Chair William A. Greenlaw ’17 said, emphasizing the importance of effective communication between the committee and the student body.

According to Finance Committee policy, the UC will only fund travel within the greater Boston area at the MBTA rate of $4.50 a student, regardless of the modes of transportation student groups choose to use.

For student organizations traveling outside of the greater Boston area, the Finance Committee may still provide transportation funding, but only at the same rate that groups traveling within Boston receive. The committee established this precedent when the Pre-Veterinary Society requested transportation funding in February.

The UC is not the only resource available for student organizations to receive travel funding. The Office of Student Life also manages the Dean of Harvard College’s Student Life Fund, a grant that allocates $50,000 this academic year to students and recognized student groups for domestic travel.

—Staff writer Brian P. Yu can be reached at brian.yu@thecrimson.com. Follow him on Twitter @brianyu28

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