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MBTA: Higher Fares, Cuts Likely Without Funding

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BOSTON (CBS/AP) — The MBTA says it could be forced to raise fares by as much as one-third or make dramatic service cuts unless the state comes up with more funding for the beleaguered transit system.

T officials on Tuesday outlined for a state Department of Transportation panel some possible scenarios for closing a projected $140 million deficit for the July 1 fiscal year.

Under one approach that relies solely on fare hikes, average fares would rise 33 percent on top of last year’s 23 percent increase.

Another scenario that would use a combination of fare hikes and service cuts could mean eliminating all weekend service and ending service on weekdays at 11 p.m.

Officials emphasized that no final decisions had been made.

Gov. Deval Patrick has proposed tax changes that would generate $1.9 billion for transportation and other programs.

T spokesman Joe Pesaturo released the following statement:

“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. Today’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.”

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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