• Regional transit authorities seeking additional funding


    BOSTON - The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s money woes are well-documented, but from the Merrimack Valley out to Worcester and beyond, other smaller transit agencies are struggling with funding as well.

    Regional transit authorities collect fares, sell advertising and receive municipal and federal funding, but they largely rely on state funding for operations.

    And according to the Boston Globe, these are the shortfalls some of the transit authorities are facing.

    For the MBTA, a $111 million deficit is expected in 2019.

    Worcester Transit is looking at $900,000 deficit, and the Merrimack Valley Transit is facing possible cuts.

    Regional transit authorities said the focus is primarily on the MBTA, but they’re now looking at their options.

    The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority has agreed to raise fares by 20 percent, and implement major service cuts on nights and weekends.

    The Worcester Transit Authority is also considering what would be its second service cut in two years, which may mean reduced service or none at all on some routes.

    The agencies said reductions could be avoided if the state provides more money starting July 1. They want funding for all 15 regional transit authorities increased by about $8 million.

    Gov. Charlie Baker has proposed keeping state funding at the current $80.4 million for another year. He said the agencies received a large increase in funding in 2014, from $67 million to its current $80 million.

    The agencies said state funding hasn’t kept up with rising costs, like employee health insurance and scheduled pay raises.

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