BOSTON (AP) — The MBTA is proposing to outsource bus maintenance operations at four Boston-area garages as part of a plan to save $26 million.

The fiscal control board overseeing the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is considering a request on Monday to solicit proposals from private companies to operate the facilities.

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Under the plan, bus drivers would continue to be MBTA employees but a contractor would be responsible for upkeep of the vehicles, using union mechanics who would not work for the T.

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The move is the latest effort by the transit system to reduce costs through outsourcing.

The T spent $132 million on bus maintenance in the last fiscal year. Officials say costs have been increasing about 7 percent per year recently despite the purchase of many new buses.

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