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      MTA bus fare going up, service hours being cut

      In just a few weeks it's going to take an extra quarter to get on a Mass Transportation Authority bus.

      Officials say it's a small increase but riders say, the quarters are going to start to add up

      ??I think the increase is unfair,?? says Shadeed Ameer.

      He??s just one of many MTA riders not happy with the fair hike.

      ??For it to go up like that is ridiculous,?? says Tyree Culberson.

      "Small things definitely have a cumulative effect within time. After a month, you're looking at a decent piece of change,?? adds Ameer.

      Come next month, a single ride fair goes from $1.50 to $1.75

      ??If you got just a minimum wage job and then you got to pay $1.75 to get to work and get back, you're talking 15, 20 bucks out of your paycheck, your small paycheck,?? says Joe Hicks.

      But MTA officials say the hike is necessary to keep the buses running.

      ??Since 2008, we've lost nearly $4 million as a result of declining property values,?? says Edgar Benning, General Manager of the MTA.

      ??That seems like a big chunk. I don't know how they could lose that much,?? questions bus rider Joe Hicks.

      ??We??ve had extensive increases in the cost of fuel and other parts of our operation. We've weathered that for five years. Unfortunately, we're at a time when we have to do some things to just keep the balance in the budget,?? adds Benning.

      The MTA is also changing service hours. General bus service will now end at 10 instead of midnight. The fare hike and service change go into effect on January 2nd.