Fare Hikes Could Help Close MBTA Deficit

If implemented, they wouldn't take place until next year

The panel overseeing the Boston-area transit system has outlined a series of potential steps to plug a growing budget gap.

The MBTA's fiscal management control board on Monday released a draft plan that suggests, among other things, eliminating late-night service and making changes on The Ride, the T's service for disabled passengers.

Without action, officials say the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority faces a $242 million structural deficit in the next fiscal year that begins July 1.

The board is also proposing to cut personnel costs by not filling currently vacant positions, and increasing revenue through advertising - including accepting alcohol ads - and more aggressive use of real estate assets.

Longer-term steps include possible fare increases next year.

No immediate decisions were expected at Monday's meeting.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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