Resistant to the concept of eliminating fares on the MBTA, Gov. Charlie Baker said the idea may be "worth the conversation" if Boston would foot the bill.

"There's no such thing as a free T," Baker said Sunday on WCVB's "On the Record." "There's no such thing as a free lunch."

Co-host Ed Harding introduced the topic as one that "bubbled to the surface during the Boston mayor's race." Mayor-elect Michelle Wu ran on a platform championing fare-free transit, which would require buy-in from Beacon Hill. The MBTA is governed by a new board featuring five Baker appointees, Transportation Secretary Jamey Tesler — a member of Baker's Cabinet — and Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch, a Baker ally appointed by the MBTA Advisory Board.

Baker said the T's fares "are affordable and competitive" and cited a need to continue to invest in the transit system. A one-way subway ride costs $2.40.

"Somebody's going to have to come up with a lot of money from somebody, and I do think if they city of Boston is willing to pay to give free T to the residents of the city of Boston, that's certainly worth the conversation, I suppose," he said. "But I don't see a reason why you would expect people who live on the Cape, on the North Shore, in central or western Mass. who will never be anywhere near the T except on very rare occasions — why they should pay to give everybody in Boston a free ride does not make any sense to me."

In June, the MBTA's prior board voted to require staff to draft plans for a pilot program offering free or reduced fares to low-income riders. Baker in January vetoed language from a transportation bond bill that would have required the launch of a low-income fare program.

In fiscal 2020, fares accounted for about $694 million of the transportation authority's $2.08 billion in revenues. The T's core network of services is in Boston but it also serves dozens of communities in the regional surrounding the city.