• MBTA may raise fares to close deficit


    BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) – MBTA passengers could be hit with another round of fare hikes and service cuts. The cash-strapped transportation agency says drastic measures are needed to close its million dollar budget gap, but passengers aren't embracing the idea.

    Members of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation's Board of Directors say nothing is off the table when it comes to closing a budget gap, with a looming deadline.

    For those on a fixed income, any talk of a possible fare hike on the MBTA is met with dread. And for those who use it every day, the chance of prices going up by 33 percent would me a significant hit to their budget. It could happen if the Department of Transportation can't close a $140 million projected deficit.

    The deadline to close the gap is July 1. If it's not met, the rate hike as well as shorter daily hours and eliminating weekend service will all be considered.
    Gov. Deval Patrick has stepped up with a proposal that would increase taxes, bringing in nearly $2 billion for transportation and other state programs.

    Some on the board of directors say as they move forward, Mass. DOT's overhead costs will also need to be evaluated.


    Statement from the MBTA:

    The MBTA has no desire to raise fares or cut service, and that's why no proposals have been put forth at this time.  The MBTA will continue to work with transit advocates and legislators to build support for MassDOT's Transportation Finance Plan, which would help stabilize the MBTA's budget situation.  Yesterday's presentation to the DOT Board's Finance Committee was part of the ongoing process of adopting an MBTA budget for Fiscal Year 2014.  The committee was briefed on various options for reducing a projected budget deficit of $140 million.  There are no specific proposals at this time.

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