There has been, by all counts, a fair amount of grumbling over the new MBTA commuter rail fare hikes that went into effect this week.
That's understandable; for all the talk of a 23 percent increase since the hikes were approved in the spring, the true effects don't hit home until riders actually had to pay the higher costs.
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, however, deserves credit for at least not making the increases worse. And it would have under an initial plan that would have created an uneven playing field for riders who, through no fault of their own, would have been penalized for not buying tickets in advance.
The catch was obvious: the MBTA has no ticket machines or advance sales offices at any of Cape Ann's four stations so that riders would take advantage of what was to be a $3 savings for advance sales. A number of Cape Ann and other riders cried foul — and they were right. In essence, they were being hit with a $3 surcharge because they couldn't get the savings if they wanted to.
Thankfully, the MBTA backed off — at least until a more thorough, order-by-phone system can be implemented, hopefully later this year.
So, in a week when riders faced higher fares, they have something for which to be thankful: The MBTA righted at least one wrong — and deserves credit for doing so.