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MBTA Board Approves Fare Hikes, Service Cuts

BOSTON (CBS/AP) — The board that oversees the MBTA approved a budget that calls for an average 23 percent fare increase and service cuts on Wednesday.

The changes were approved by a 4-1 vote.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Lana Jones reports

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The fare hikes will kick in on July 1.

Dozens of people spoke out against the proposed plan earlier in the day.

A small group of protesters gathered at the state transportation building before the meeting of the T's board of directors began early Wednesday afternoon. The protesters chanted "no cuts, no hikes."

Lee Matsueda, head of the T Riders Union, said before the vote that he expected the board to approve the changes.

T officials say the changes are needed to close an estimated $159 million deficit. After the vote, several opponents shouted to the board "shame on you."

The proposed plan is less severe than earlier scenarios calling for fare increases of up to 43 percent and more extensive cuts in service.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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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