Closing its latest $161 mil­lion budget short­fall will require the MBTA to choose between a huge fare increase and a more mod­erate increase com­bined with sig­nif­i­cant ser­vice cuts. This lousy predica­ment is just the latest fallout from state government’€™s habitual treat­ment of main­te­nance and replace­ment as after­thoughts too easily sac­ri­ficed in favor of the polit­ical appeal of new construction.

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