New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority has to close a $1.2 billion deficit in the next fiscal year, MTA officials said at a special finance committee meeting yesterday.

A combination of fare hikes and cuts to operating expenses will cut that deficit to $521 million in calendar 2009, leaving the MTA looking to a state commission and the federal government for help as it faces a double whammy of falling tax revenues and rising debt service costs, according to MTA officials and an update of the July financial plan.

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