The cash-strapped T scheduled 11 virtual meetings in November and early December to solicit commuter input on MBTA train, bus and ferry services as it weighs tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts to close a budget deficit fueled by declining ridership. The federal government has delivered relief funds but a state revenue package for the T has idled.
All meetings will be held over Zoom, and schedules and access information are available online at mbta.com/forging-ahead.
Two of the events, each at 6 p.m. on Nov. 19 and Dec. 2, are intended to be systemwide discussions covering any MBTA service, while the other nine are aimed at different regions where some form of T service runs.
The T also urged commuters Wednesday to fill out a survey on the agency’s website seeking public opinion on how the agency should prioritize services amid the financial strain.
R.I. regulators approve natural gas rate hike
Rhode Island utilities regulators have approved an increase in National Grid’s natural gas rates, but because of the ongoing economic distress caused by the coronavirus pandemic, deferred half of the impact on ratepayers.
With the Public Utilities Commission’s decision, instead of paying an additional $97 over the 12-month period starting Sunday, the typical homeowner who uses gas for heating and cooking will pay about $48. For qualifying low-income customers, the annual increase will be about $35, The Providence Journal reported.
The monthly increases for the typical homeowner work out to $6.87 and $4.82, respectively.
By deferring collections for half of the $30.7 million increase, the commission didn’t reduce the amount that customers will ultimately pay. Because the deferred costs will collect interest, ratepayers will end up paying more.
Read More: Ticker: MBTA seeks input n service cuts; R.I. regulators approve natural gas rate hike