Ferry fight: South Shore residents worried MBTA may run fewer lines

BOSTON (WHDH) - The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is facing a budget deficit of at least $300 million, meaning subway, bus, and ferry service could be cut.

MBTA officials said the budget crises is the result of a decrease in ridership brought about in the wake of the pandemic.

“The MBTA is facing a historic and difficult moment. The pandemic has resulted in unprecedentedly low ridership and lost fare revenues,” General Manager Steve Poftak said.

Bus ridership is down 60 percent, subway ridership 76 percent, and Commuter Rail ridership 88 percent.

“This estimate is not intended as a scare tactic or posturing, it is our current best estimate and what we are working on addressing,” Poftak said.

To combat this, “T” leasers said they may be forced to reduce or eliminate service to areas with low ridership.

Also hit hard, the ferry that connects Boston, Hull, and Hingham. Joan Meschino said she fears that it could be eliminated altogether.

“The cuts that they’re proposing are deep, they’re permanent and they will essentially cut the south shore off from Boston,” she said. “So, it is deeply problematic.

At the dock, there is a growing concern among commuters.

“We specifically chose Hull one, because we love the area,  we love the beach, the small-town community but mainly because of the ferry,” one woman said.

MBTA officials said they plan to ask the government for more money on top of the $800 million it already received. They will be slowing down improvement projects to prevent the deepest of cuts.

But there is no doubt that tough decisions are coming.

Those discussions are scheduled to take place on November 9.

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