MBTA seeks to save $26M by privatizing bus maintenance

BOSTON (AP) — The MBTA is proposing to outsource bus maintenance operations at four Boston-area garages as part of a plan to save $26 million.

The fiscal control board overseeing the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is considering a request on Monday to solicit proposals from private companies to operate the facilities.

Under the plan, bus drivers would continue to be MBTA employees but a contractor would be responsible for upkeep of the vehicles, using union mechanics who would not work for the T.

The move is the latest effort by the transit system to reduce costs through outsourcing.

The T spent $132 million on bus maintenance in the last fiscal year. Officials say costs have been increasing about 7 percent per year recently despite the purchase of many new buses.

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