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Rail News: Financials

MBTA proposes 'significant' fare increases, service cuts to deal with deficit


Yesterday, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) officials laid out two options for increasing fares and reducing service as part of a plan to address an expected $185 million structural deficit in fiscal-year 2013.

Despite the fact that the agency is serving more than 1.3 million riders every weekday, the system “faces one of the most serious financial crises in its history,” MBTA officials said in a prepared statement.

Available revenue is projected to be as much as $185 million below operating expenses during FY2013, which will run from July 2012 through June 2013.

“This structural deficit will continue to grow through fiscal-year 2016 and beyond under current conditions,” MBTA officials said. “To maintain financial stability, [MBTA] will have to make decisions in the next few months that will significantly impact fares and service.”

Yesterday, two scenarios for fare hikes were presented to the MBTA’s Finance Subcommittee: the first would raise fares 43 percent, and the second would hike fares 35 percent. Both scenarios include fare increases and service reductions in different proportions, MBTA officials said.

The agency will provide details of, and accept public comments on, the proposals during meetings that will be held during January and February.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/4/2012