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MBTA Will Raise Fares 23%, Cut $15 Million In Service

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BOSTON (CBS) – The state transportation department has decided to raise MBTA fares 23-percent and cut $15 million in service to close a $159 million budget gap for the upcoming fiscal year.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports.

According to the plan announced at a news conference Wednesday, four bus routes will be eliminated entirely.  14 other routes will be modified.  Specifics were made public on the MBTA’s website.

Read: MBTA Fare and Service Changes

There will be a 35-percent increase in commuter ferry fares and weekend ferry service in Quincy will be eliminated.

Weekday commuter rail service will be maintained, but weekend service will be eliminated on the Kingston-Plymouth, Needham and Greenbush lines.

Commuter rail monthly pass rates will go up $38 in Zone 1 from $135 to $173.

Zone 9 monthly passes, currently $265, will jump $64 to $329.

Check: New Pass Prices

On the subway lines, E branch weekend service between Brigham Circle and Heath Street on the Green Line will be eliminated.

A single bus ride will now cost $1.50, up from $1.25.

A single subway ride will go up from the current $1.70 to $2.

A monthly pass, which currently costs $59, will be $70.

Bus fares for students and seniors will now cost 75-cents each.  Subway fares will now cost them $1.

The student weekly pass for Monday-Friday will increase to $25.  It’s currently $20.

A 7-day student pass will be introduced at a cost of $28.

Service will not be reduced on The Ride, which currently costs $2 a trip.  In the new budget, that will increase to $4 or $5, depending on where you live and how far you have to travel.  The MBTA is also seeking reimbursement from Medicaid for The Ride.

The proposal also includes $61 million in one-time revenues, which won’t be available in fiscal year 2014.

Read: Patrick Supports New Plan

The MBTA says it will take $5 million from the MassDOT snow and ice removal program, $51 million from the motor vehicle inspection fund and $5 million from the North Station Garage lease payment.

WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager spoke to riders

If approved by the Legislature, all the cuts and fare hikes would begin July 1.

Despite the cuts, the T will maintain 99.7-percent of its service, according to officials.

However, looking ahead to next year, the MBTA says it already has a $100 million operating deficit for fiscal 2014.

WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson contributed to this report.

You can follow her on Twitter @karenreports.

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