State lawmakers will take a look into the MTA's financial situation at a hearing today that aims to "stop the continuing cycle of increased fares and decreased service."

A joint hearing of the state Senate's transportation and infrastructure committees at 10:30 a.m. in Albany will grill officials on the MTA's budget and finances. The MTA is hiking fares and tolls in March as part of a planned series of hikes every two years. The MTA's finances are balanced up to 2017, though the agency is facing a $322 million deficit in 2018, according to budget documents. Meanwhile, transit officials have been pushing for money to finance a $32 billion capital program -- a $15 billion funding gap remains -- to keep the system in good working order and build megaprojects like the Second Avenue Subway and bringing Metro-North into Penn Station.