MTA eyes early fare hikes to avoid service cuts

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority board is considering raising rail and bus fares by 7 percent this year instead of in early 2011, as planned, in order to avoid controversial service cuts.

"A fare increase would be more acceptable than service reductions," says MTA board member Mitch Pally.

State Assemblyman Dean Murray (R) says he and his colleagues are so infuriated by the proposed fare increases that they're demanding an audit of the MTA.

"I'm hoping this forensic audit by the state comptroller will turn over and discover the millions of dollars of waste and mismanagement," Murray says.

The MTA is struggling to close a $750 million budget gap.

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