MTA approves 2010 doomsday budget

(AP) - The board of the nation's largest transit agency has approved its 2010 doomsday budget. It includes service cuts and could leave New York City children without free rides to their public schools.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is facing a $383 million budget shortfall.

The MTA will hold public hearings and vote again. That leaves an opening for an 11th-hour rescue by the city or the state.

The policy of free or discounted student rides has been in place since 1948. Ending it could cost half a million students nearly $1,000 per year in transportation fees.

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