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    How T entered a tunnel of debt

    The MBTA reached a halfway point last week with the 12th of 24 community meetings on proposed fare increases and service cuts, and the numbers so far are staggering: 2,077 attendees (counting merely those who signed in) and 618 lining up to speak. Another 2,900 have sent e-mails.

    Longtime observers say the public response is not just the most pronounced in memory, but also the most knowledgeable. Beyond real frustration over paying more and losing service, many speakers cite the overarching problem: too much debt, too little money, with riders asked to make up more of the difference.

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