By Jon Keller

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.

Jon Keller

Comments (4)
  1. BostonIrish says:

    I’m the last person to agree with a fare increase, but people, it’s really expensive to run trains and trolleys. I agree that the T, as most big state blackhole budgets are, is inefficient. But if you want public transportation, money doesn’t grow on trees.

    I seldom use the T, but when I do I don’t have any issues with the service. Just don’t raise any taxes to fund it. Let the riders pay.

    1. Tsalnew says:

      Absolutely agree BI. Son uses T several times daily and also has no problems.

  2. Nab71 says:

    So let me see if I have this correct. People who have not seen any fare increase for five years want to add a tax on gasoline customers who have seen steady increases in prices over the same time period. The T needs to learn what most landlords know, if you don’t increase what you charge periodically to reflect costs, your customers won’t appreciate it, they’ll scream when costs finally force an increase.

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