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MBTA Fare Hikes May Be Necessary To Close $140 Million Budget Gap

BOSTON (CBS) -  An already cold morning for T riders had an extra bite Wednesday with news fare increases may be in the future.

Elena Lagoa rides the Green Line and says a fare increase would just add to her expenses.

"I'm a student, work part-time, I have to pay for my apartment, my car and for the T," she told WBZ-TV. "I just don't think I can manage that."

The MBTA is trying to close a $140 million deficit. The proposal on the table includes fare increases, service cuts to existing lines and some less-popular bus routes may be eliminated.

There has been no word on exactly how much more it would cost to ride public transportation if the plan is approved.

"It's really regressive. So the people who are most affected by it, can least afford to tolerate an increase in fares," Miriam Segura-Harrison told WBZ-TV's Sera Congi.

Gov. Deval Patrick's proposed transportation bill includes money for the MBTA that could wipe out the T's debt.

Sera Congi reports

Lawmakers would have to approve that.  They have indicated they are committed to avoiding fare increases.

"I think money is needed to operate the system. It has to come from somewhere. Ultimately, I think it has to come from the legislature," rider Dan Manning said.

The deficit reduction plan still needs to be approved by the board of directors for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and the Legislature could come up with the money to avoid any fare increases.


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