The Associated Press

MBTA Workers Could Lose Free Rides

BOSTON — Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority employees and retirees could soon lose their free rides on the T.

The state’s Joint Committee on Transportation is considering a bill Thursday that would prohibit MBTA workers and retirees from taking free rides on the agency’s subway cars and buses for personal travel.

The vice president of the Boston Carmen’s Union, James O’Brien, says the rides are part of employees’ benefits they negotiate as part of their contracts, and do not impact the agency’s budget. He said adequately funding public transportation should be the state’s focus.

The MBTA says less than one percent of the 380 million passenger trips taken in fiscal year 2011 were taken by employees.

The proposal comes as the agency considers fare increases and other measures to balance its budget.

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