MBTA looks at service cuts, fare hikes

LITTLE MORE THAN a year into its existence, MBTA service to T.F. Green Airport may be trimmed, along with service to Providence, to help close a budget gap at the agency.
Posted 2/28/12

PROVIDENCE – Commuter train service to Rhode Island that state officials have worked to expand over the past decade would be scaled back under budget cutting plans by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority detailed Monday night.

Weekend commuter train service and all weekday service after 10 p.m. would be eliminated throughout the MBTA system under the two scenarios the agency is considering to make up a projected $185 million structural budget deficit for fiscal 2013.

In addition, commuter rail fares throughout the system would rise either 35 percent or 43 percent under two scenarios being considered for the July 1 start of the new fiscal year.

The service cuts would mean the loss of 19 weekend commuter train stops in Rhode Island and four weekday stops in the state, according to the R.I. Department of Transportation.

Under the fare increases being considered the current $7.75 one-way fare from Providence to Boston would rise to between $10.45 and $11.25 depending on which scenario is picked.

The MBTA’s board of directors are scheduled to vote on the proposed fare increases and service reductions in April.

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