Report: MBTA Will Hold Off on Fare Hikes Until 2019

MBTA Red Line

Despite a $36.5 million gap in their spending plans, the MBTA Board reportedly has decided to hold off on fare increases until 2019.

State House News reports a $2 billion fiscal 2019 preliminary budget bumps up the T's spending by more than $49 million. Of that, $16 million will be invested on infrastructure and expansion investments.

The transit agency reportedly will devote $33 million to pay down the agency's debt.

In February, Gov. Charlie Baker made managerial changes to the T, in hopes that its infrastructure upgrades would make the transportation service more reliable.

"The system is not as reliable as it should be, which is why we have been significantly investing in the T's capital investment program and upgrading a system that in many cases, where everything is more than 50 years old," Baker said.

According to State House News, officials with the MBTA are hoping to pay down the rest of the debt with state tax revenues and not from fare increases.

"The MBTA is not contemplating a fare increase for the next fiscal year," MBTA Acting Chief Financial Officer Paul Brandley reportedly told the control board.

The preliminary budget will be reviewed by the MBTA Advisory Board. A final spending plan will be adopted by the control board for fiscal 2019 by April 15.

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