Mass. Lawmakers Asked For Help On MBTA Budget

Gov. Deval Patrick is asking state lawmakers to transfer $51 million to the MBTA and take other steps to avoid service cuts deeper than those transit officials are recommending.

The transfer would come from a fund that promotes environmentally friendly transportation projects.

The MBTA's board of directors will vote this week on a budget plan that calls for average 23 percent fare hike and some service cuts.

Patrick's legislation would also stiffen fines on fare evaders: $75 for the first offense, $200 for the second violation and $350 for all subsequent offenses.

A new poll from the Boston Globe shows that voters would support such a measure. The poll found that 40 percent of those surveyed would support using state dollars to plug the T's budget gap, while 34 percent opposed state assistance.

Residents east of Route 128 were most likely to support using public dollars to help the T avoid fare hikes and service cuts.

This program aired on April 2, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.


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