The MBTA could avoid service cuts by shifting costs of services to state agencies that really should be bearing them and by levying an "equitable" 25% fare hike, the MBTA Advisory Board said today.
The board, which represents the cities and towns in the MBTA service area, released a counter-proposal to the T's current plans, which calls for fare hikes of at least 35% and major cutbacks across commuter rail and bus line and the elimination of all ferry service.
However, part of the advisory board's assumptions would also include levying new fees - such as a 50-cent surcharge on tickets to sporting and entertainment events, a $10 yearly fee for college students and payments from "large beneficiaries of late night and weekend commuter rail."
The advisory board says the T could save $71 million through a series of steps, including transferring the cost of transit security to State Police, handing ferry service over to MassPort and shifting the cost of private and suburban bus systems to the state Department of Transportation.
More savings could come through elimination of all raises in the coming fiscal year, finally selling of station naming rights, canceling the planned elimination of alcohol advertising, and new fees on entertainment and sports tickets and on companies that benefit from commuter rail after 10 p.m. and on weekends - such as sports venues.