Going up? MBTA mulling fare hike – Metro US

Going up? MBTA mulling fare hike

As soon as next July, T riders could be scraping their pockets for change and dumping more cash onto their CharlieCards.

MBTA officials have already started talking about the possibility of raising passenger fares.

“Everything is on the table for balancing that budget [next fiscal year]” said MBTA General Manager Rich Davey. “Which includes fare increases.”

Davey says he has tried almost everything to avoid the cost increase to ride the T, including the launch of an MBTA store with authentic T flip-flops and selling the naming rights to stations — but it hasn’t been enough.

The T hasn’t raised fares since January of 2007 when the price to ride spiked 25 percent.

“The problem is the gap continues to grow … we have a projected budget gap [next year] that is greater than this year, which was $130 million,” said Davey.

He wouldn’t say how much fares could go up, but he said they would “absolutely not” increase this fiscal year, which ends in June of 2012.

But before a hike in commuter prices can happen, the T has to go through a lengthy public input process.

Increases can pass after public workshops, public comment sessions and consultation with the Rider Oversight Committee is held.

The T also has to get the MBTA Board of Directors’ approval.

Follow Steve Annear on Twitter @steveannear

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