T plans fare boost, limited Green Line service

The MBTA plans an overall 23 percent fare increase and will eliminate weekend Green Line streetcar service between Brigham Circle and Heath Street, according to a budget summary document released March 28 following months of controversy about the T’s sorry financial state.

Originally facing a $185 million budget deficit for fiscal year 2013, the MBTA was able to hack that down to an $84 million gap with one-time savings and revenue, according to the budget document. That means its fare boost can be less drastic. Original plans called for halting Green Line service entirely on the weekends. The T would continue to subsidize the Mission LINK shuttle bus service, but only at half the current funding level.

The MBTA is still facing debt that will cause more budget gaps for years to come unless some type of long-term solution is created.

Fare boosts and service cuts were widely criticized by thousands of people in public meetings, including one last month at Roxbury Community College.

MBTA officials will formally submit the budget proposal to the MBTA board on April 4.

The budget document is available online at mbta.com. For more on this story, see the April 6 Gazette.

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