MBTA boss pushes to delay fare hikesBoston Herald March 05. 2018 9:14PM
The head of the MBTA is urging the agency’s board to not raise fares in January, and instead push off any potential hikes until the summer of 2019, when the following fiscal year begins.
Luis Ramirez, the T’s general manager, said it could be difficult to implement a fare increase in January midway through the next fiscal year. His comments came amid a debate at a Fiscal & Management Control Board meeting about how to slice down a projected $100 million budget deficit for fiscal year 2019, which begins in July.
T officials say a fare increase could generate another $12 million to $15 million over half of next year, helping cut into growing costs across the agency.
The T last raised fares in 2016, but at the time, board members voted to put off the next fare increase until at least January 2019. The potential of a fare increase had surfaced in recent weeks as the T weighed ways to balance its budget.
But T officials are also looking at other changes to close the spending gap, including potentially raising parking fees at T garages. The board has to finalize the agency’s budget by April 15.