As the MBTA struggles with a growing budget gap, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation Tuesday released two MBTA service proposals that would not only raise rates, but also include some service reductions or eliminations.
According to information released on a Mass.gov blog, one scenario proposes an overall fare increase of 43 percent, while the other scenario suggests a 35 percent fare increase; but commuter rail service could increase between 27 to 52.9% based on which zone.
The proposals look to close a projected $161 million budget gap for fiscal year 2013, the statement said.
"While the MBTA continues to identify and adopt strict measures to close the budget gap, less costly ways of doing business and additional revenue-generating measures are necessary," said MassDOT Transportation Secretary and CEO Richard Davey in the online statement. "I am confident with the public’s involvement in this process we can review the study, propose recommendations, and together generate new revenue to continue the progress the MBTA has made in serving its customers.”
In addition, both scenarios include service eliminations or reductions to the Commuter Rail, bus, light rail, ferry and THE RIDE service area.
Both scenarios calls for the elimination of the commuter rail service on the weekends and for service to end on weekdays at 10 p.m.
The MassDOT statement says 20 public meetings will be held over the next couple of months to discuss the proposals.
A final recommendation will be made in the spring, with new fares and service changes implemented on July 1, 2012.
A 74-page MBTA analysis of the two proposals is attached to this post as a PDF, to read at your leisure; perhaps on the commuter rail on your way to work this morning.