Mass. Lawmakers Pressured On Planned MBTA Hikes

BOSTON (AP) — State lawmakers are under growing pressure to help solve the MBTA’s funding crisis and head off steep fare hikes and service reductions.

Students and other transit riders held a protest outside the Statehouse on Tuesday against proposals offered that would raise fares as much as 43 percent while cutting some bus routes and eliminating weekend commuter rail service.

The MBTA is facing a $161 million deficit.

WBZ-TV’s Jon Keller spoke with Richard Davey

Earlier in the day, legislators whose districts are in the T’s service area met to hear suggestions for closing the gap while also providing more funds for other transportation needs around the state.

Lawmakers have heard some calls for raising the state’s 21-cents-per-gallon tax on gasoline, but legislative leaders have indicated that a tax increase is unlikely this year.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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