MBTA budget would raise fares without state aid

Fares on the MBTA are likely to rise if the transit agency doesn't receive a state bailout. (Amanda Art/Metro)
Fares on the MBTA are likely to rise if the transit agency doesn’t receive a state bailout. Credit: Amanda Art/Metro

MBTA fares will go up an average of 19 percent unless the transit agency receives sizable state funding, under a budget plan recommended Thursday.

The state transportation board’s Audit and Finance Committee voted 2-1 to support a $1.86 billion budget for the 2014 fiscal year, which begins July 1. The entire board will vote on the budget in early April.

The MBTA faces a $139 million budget gap for the next fiscal year.

“We cannot afford what we have,” MBTA general manager Beverly Scott said. “It is a structural problem. The time is now. It must have a structural fix.”

Gov. Deval Patrick has proposed a tax reform plan to raise $1.9 billion per year, to be spent on transportation and education. The bill is before the House Ways and Means Committee, which is expected to release a budget plan by April 10.

Transportation officials were optimistic that the legislature will approve the governor’s plan, which would provide an additional $118 million to the MBTA.

Without that money, fare increases would likely take effect in December. The 10 least productive bus routes would also be cut.

Subway fares could jump from $2 to $2.30 or $2.45. Bus rides would cost $1.75 to $1.85, up from $1.50. The Ride, which serves elderly and disabled passengers, would remain $4.

Just last year, the MBTA raised fares an average of 23 percent.

Scott warned that the 2015 fiscal year could be worse, unless dramatic funding changes are made.

“It’s going to have to be a legitimate resizing effort,” Scott told the State House News Service. “I couldn’t even begin to tell you what combination would be fares, what combination would wind up being service reductions. That will be the most intense dialogue.”

Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBos



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Interfaith leaders denounce anti-Muslim harassment in Brooklyn

Community leaders of all faiths gathered in Brooklyn on Tuesday to push back on what they described as hateful acts against the local Muslim community.

National

Parched Texas town turns to sewage water to…

By Marice RichterDALLAS (Reuters) - When the going got tough due one of with worst droughts in a century, the parched Texas city of Wichita…

International

NYPD: Robber makes elderly man drive to Queens…

A robber grabbed an elderly man's neck outside a Queens supermarket, stole his wallet and made him drive to ATMs for withdrawals last week, police said.

Local

Tattooed, bearded suspect sought in Williamsburg bike theft:…

The suspected thief faces grand larceny charges after investigators said he entered the building on North 5th Street in Williamsburg.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

Arts

PHOTO: Wildlife photographer Marc Mol captures amazing aerial…

This aerial image was taken by photographer Marc Mol who spotted the animals during an air safari in Zambia.

Arts

Theater: “Love and Human Remains” is like a…

"Love and Human Remains" is the worst show we've ever not walked out of.

Movies

Review: 'A Most Wanted Man' works better when…

In one of his last roles, Philip Seymour Hoffman headlines the John Le Carre adaptation of "A Most Wanted Man," about the pursuit of a Chechen refugee.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

NFL

5 players to watch at Giants training camp

Metro takes a look at five players who will be on everyone’s mind when Giants training camp gets underway.

NFL

'Vicktory dogs' travel road to rehabilitation seven years…

Of the dozens of dogs groomed by Bad Newz Kennels, 48 were rescued and 22 of the pit bull terriers have emerged at Best Friends Animal Society.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.

Parenting

Buy gently worn back-to-school clothes with Kidizen

Kidizen allows parents to buy and sell gently worn back-to-school clothes.