Will 'doomsday' MTA budget affect Conn.?

As the Metropolitan Transportation Authority moves ahead on a 'doomsday' budget to shore up its dire finances, Connecticut transit advocates expect that what happens in

STAMFORD - As the Metropolitan Transportation Authority moves ahead on a 'doomsday' budget to shore up its dire finances, Connecticut transit advocates expect that what happens in New York will stay in New York.

The MTA board announced Wednesday a plan to plug a $1.2 billion budget gap. Under the 2009 budget, a single New York City bus or subway ride could rise from $2 to $2.50 and a monthly pass could go from $81 to around $100.

Advocates for rail riders say the MTA can raise fares in New York, but not for the Metro-North in Connecticut.

However, elected officials such as state Sen. Bob Duff, who is vice chair of the Senate?s Transportation Committee, says what the MTA does will have a ripple effect.

?There's going to be some sort of changes which I know the [Department of Transportation] and the governor are working on right now,? says Duff, hinting that Metro-North fare hikes could be in the offing.

Connecticut is also facing a budget crunch, and on Thursday Gov. Jodi Rell called the lame duck Legislature back to the Capitol next month, five days before the new session opens, to vote on her latest deficit-cutting plan.

AP wire services were used in this report.

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