Updated March 4 at 7:04pm

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TRANSPORTATION

MBTA needs more funding to stave off fare hikes, service cuts

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BOSTON – Officials from the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority need to balance their budget, but they plan to wait until at least March before increasing fares and establishing service cuts in hopes of an increase in funding, reported Boston.com.

In her first interview since taking the position earlier this month, MBTA general manager Beverly Scott told the news source that she hopes Massachusetts lawmakers will come up with funding for the T within the next two months to help relieve the pressure on the agency and hold off fare hikes or service cuts.

The MBTA deficit is at $132 million for the fiscal year starting July 1, the MBTA announced Wednesday.

Although state planners projected T ridership would fall after the summer fare hike, monthly ridership increased nearly 2 percent in November. According to Boston.com, this is the third month out of five that MBTA ridership has grown since the transit organization increased fares last summer.

The news source reported that Massachusetts Gov. Deval L. Patrick is expected to submit a plan for T expansion and how much money could be raised by increasing taxes, tolls and fees by Jan. 7.

State law calls for the MBTA to pass a balanced budget for its July-June fiscal year by April.

mbta, train, commuter rail, t, rhode island, massachusetts, boston, boston.com, deval patrick

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