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Transportation

Why Boston's Cash-Strapped Transit System Is Piloting Lower Fares for Students

The MBTA's forthcoming Youth and University passes are the result of years of activism.
In this Tuesday, April 3, 2012 photo, protesters demonstrate against MBTA in front of the Statehouse in Boston.
In this Tuesday, April 3, 2012 photo, protesters demonstrate against MBTA in front of the Statehouse in Boston.AP Photo/Elise Amendola

It's been a long, hard winter for the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority, but starting in June, a new pilot program will let many more Boston-area teenagers and college students ride public transit at a discount.

The transit system's new Youth and University passes are not the result of any sort of grand charitable gesture. Instead they're a joint effort between the MBTA and young activists who worked hard to make public transportation more affordable for themselves and their peers.