Politicians Expected to Plug Hole in MBTA Budget, Avoid Further Fare Hike [POLL]

It appears that state legislators will come through on a promised one-year bailout for the MBTA, negating a warning from the T that without the money they'd raise fares even further than already planned.

MBTA commuters can breath a bit easier as it appears politicians will come through on a deal to avoid further fare hikes by the T.

At issue is tens of millions of dollars the state promised the T as part of a bargain struck this summer. In it, fares will go up and service will be trimmed—but the T's budget gap of $160 million will be bridged.

The Globe is reporting that the House is set to approve a $49 million to the financially-troubled transit agency. It's a one-year fix. The money would come from a state fund that supports green-friendly transportation, according to the Herald.

But once the one-year patch is in place, the outlook is bleak for commuters looking to avoid further fare hikes and service cuts. The state's top transit official, Richard Davey, said Monday he expects the T to be in the red $100 million or more next year.

Davey, flanked by a legion of mayors, to build momentum for a state-wide fix for the Bay State transit system.

Davey told that some of the ideas for how to get more money for transportation include transferring $1.6 billion of MBTA debt to the state, implementing a $0.01 per mile statewide tax on vehicle miles traveled and allocating casino gaming revenues to the MBTA, among others.

Davey didn't mention a gas tax hike, which Gov. Deval Patrick has previously proposed as a long-term transit solution. Public transportation advocates say investment in rail, roads and bridges makes economic sense, as it makes the Bay State more attractive for business.


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