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
National

Train selfie star who got kicked in the…

  A 22-year-old Canadian man who posted a video of himself getting kicked in the head by a train conductor is set to cash in…

National

Call of Duty hoaxer blamed for $100K SWAT…

A heavilly-armed SWAT team and an army of police officers stormed a Long Island home fearing a grisly double homicide – only to find it…

National

Minnie Driver tweets naked celebrity snap to 'shut…

Actress Minnie Driver has responded to bitchy critics who sniped about her bikini body by Tweeting a naked picture of herself. The 44-year-old star of…

National

American middle classes no longer world's richest (guess…

America's middle classes are no longer the richest in the world – having been overtaken in the wealth stakes by their Canadian counterparts. For almost…

Television

John Turturro tags in for Robert De Niro…

The cast of the courtroom drama miniseries has undergone yet another shift. Following Robert De Niro's exit, the cable network has brought in John Turturro…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 22: 'Glee,' 'Agents…

'Glee' Rachel makes her Broadway debut in "Funny Girl." Remember when she was just a high school drama nerd? FOX, 8PM 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'…

The Word

Lindsay Lohan's big, drunk interview

Lindsay Lohan appears to be completely off the wagon now, if Kode magazine's chronicle of her trip to Coachella is any indication. According to the…

The Word

What we learned from the premiere of 'True…

Does watching someone's marriage implode make for great TV? The show runners at "True Tori" think Tori Spelling's heartbreak is hot stuff indeed.

NBA

Nets settle for 1-1 series tie with Game…

DeMar DeRozan, who was an All-Star this season, hit two huge jumpers back-to-back to give the Raptors an 89-85 lead over the Nets with 2:10 to play.

NHL

Rangers reclaim home ice with Game 3 road…

The Rangers jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the first period for the second straight game. This time, they held on.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers,…

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers, Cardinals, Yankees surge. The A's, Braves, Rangers, Giants and Rockies are also in the top 10.

NBA

Jason Kidd reacts to Mike Woodson being fired…

Jason Kidd played for Mike Woodson last year and Joe Johnson spent four seasons being the main focus on offense for Woodson in Atlanta.

Wellbeing

How to burn off all that Easter candy

Sorry to be a buzzkill, but you can't eat chocolate eggs and Jelly Bellys forever.

Food

Powdered alcohol: 5 things to know about 'Palcohol'

What's the deal with powdered alcohol? Here's what you need to know about Palcohol.

Travel

Travel hacks: 6 tips on living out of…

Lynne Martin shares her travel hacks on living out of just two suitcases.

Wellbeing

Tough Mudder pro gives tips on conquering a…

Learn hacks from head designer Nolan Kombol.