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MBTA considers fare hikes, service cuts

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority announced a plan in August to reevaluate its services and fares due to a budget shortfall that has worsened in recent years.

Lydia Rivera, the MBTA's press secretary, said the agency is examining services and determining whether increasing fares or adopting other measures would be appropriate. A fare increase could take effect in 2012, she added. But she emphasized that the agency has not decided the specifics of any possible cuts.

Rich Davey, the agency's general manager, told the Boston Metro in an Aug. 22 article that though "it would be undesirable to cut services, it's something we have to consider." He hinted that any changes would likely be in place after 8 p.m. or on weekends and said he hoped to avoid cutting service during peak times.

The transit authority currently operates a commuter rail line from Providence to Boston that runs approximately every half-hour during weekdays and every few hours on weekends. Potential fare and service changes would likely affect Brown students, many of whom travel to and from Boston regularly.

Sophia Staley '14, who takes the train to Boston and back about once a month, said she felt that if these changes were to take place, she would certainly "travel less frequently." But, she added, "A hike of, say, $5 would not keep me from taking the train to Boston several times a year."

Chenowyth Pinter '14, who takes the train to Boston once every two weeks to visit her godfather, said she was dismayed at the prospect of any changes to the system. "Part of the reason that it's so good and that I go so often is that the trains run so often and are so cheap. I think that's why a lot of students use the system," she said.

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority also recently announced a plan to consider service cuts of up to 30 percent due to budget constraints.


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