• MBTA says it won't raise fares in 2018


    BOSTON - The MBTA fiscal board said in a meeting on Monday they will not be raising fares in 2018.

    In efforts to close the MBTA's $100 million budget gap, a seven percent fare hike is in the plans for MBTA general manager Luis Ramirez, but not until the summer of 2019.

    "To do something like that in the middle of the winter and everything else, I think it's just not feasible and doesn't make a lot of sense and we should really think about this and do it right," said Ramirez.

    The T last raised their fares in 2016, but at the time, board members voted to put off the next fare increase until at least Jan. 2019. 

    The legislature has since passed a law limiting fare increases to a maximum of seven percent every two years. The price hike deferment would keep the board in line with lawmaker recommendations and the installation of a new fare collection system.

    "If we have more change in the existing equipment, we got one more change in the existing equipment, so we want to make sure we do it right," said Stephanie Pollack.

    With a projected $100 million budget deficit, the fiscal control board is looking for ways to increase revenue for the 2019 fiscal year, which begins in July - and the potential for a $12-15 million bump could be too good to pass up.

    "I think, until we come up with the savings that we need, nothing's off the table," said Brian Lang. "I'm not advocating for a fare increase, but there's a lot of moving pieces here and there and this is one of them so I wouldn't take it off the table."

    Another issue on the table is the potential to raise prices for the T parking garages. 

    The board is expected to finalize the agency's budget by April. 15. 

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