With Fare Hike Options That Hit New Yorkers Hard, Tri-State Calls for State and City Elected Officials to Stand Up for Riders

This morning, the MTA released several detailed proposals for a March, 2013 fare and toll increase, the fourth in five years. The proposals, which would impact those that use the MTA’s transit, commuter rail, and bridge and tunnel crossings, are calibrated to raise $450 million for the agency annually.

While fares will go up under all of the proposals, the precise details of the fare hike for MTA customers have not been locked down, and will not be until after a public comment period that includes a series of hearings in November. Some of the most important variables at play are the base price of a single ride, the continuation (and magnitude) of the current bonus on pay-per-ride MetroCards of $10 or more, and the cost of weekly and monthly unlimited passes. A summary of the proposals follows:

  • Under the first set of proposals, the base MetroCard fare would go up to $2.50. With the base fare at that level, one proposal would keep the pay-per-ride bonus at 7%, while the unlimited monthly would go up by $8 and the unlimited weekly would go up by $1. Another $2.50 base fare proposal would eliminate the pay-per-ride bonus while increasing the cost of monthly unlimited cards by $5 and holding weekly unlimited cards steady at $29.
  • Under the second set of proposals, the base MetroCard fare would remain at $2.25. With the base fare at current levels, one proposal would reduce the pay-per-ride bonus to 5%, increase the unlimited monthly card’s cost by $21, and increase the weekly unlimited card’s cost by $5. Another $2.25 base proposal would eliminate the pay-per-ride bonus while increasing the cost of monthly unlimited cards by $15 and increasing the cost of weekly unlimited cards by $3.
  • Under all proposals, the majority of Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North tickets would go up by around 9%.

For further details, including express bus and MTA crossing information, take a look at the MTA’s press release.

Fare Type Current Proposal 1 Proposal 2
A B A B
Base MetroCard Fare 

& Local Bus Cash Fare

$2.25 $2.50 $2.25
Single Ride Ticket (Subway) $2.50 $2.75 $2.50
Bonus Value with Purchase 

of $10 or More

7% 7% none 5% none
Base Fare w/Bonus Discount $2.10 $2.34 $2.50 $2.14 $2.25
30-Day Unlimited Pass Cost $104 $112 $109 $125 $119
30-Day Unlimited Pass Break Even Point (trips) 50 48 44 59 53
7-Day Unlimited Pass Cost $29 $30 $29 $34 $32
7-Day Unlimited Pass Break Even Point (trips) 14 13 12 16 15

While the MTA managed to stave off the expected fare increase until March 2013—it was initially scheduled to go into effect in January—if fare hikes are adopted riders will once again shoulder more of the burden of funding the region’s transit system next year. In a statement today, Tri-State Executive Director Veronica Vanterpool called on legislators to find funding solutions for the MTA, so that the agency is no longer forced to balance its budget by reaching into the pockets of transit riders: “We don’t need more legislative voices denouncing the fare increases. We need more voices working towards a viable, long-term funding solution.”

This weekend, the New York Times editorial board similarly called for increased public support for transit: “…the transit structure fuels the state and city economy. It needs more support from both, and less from the beleaguered commuter.”

There will be eight public hearings on the fare hike in November, and the MTA is also setting up video cameras that will allow riders to submit comments at certain MTA facilities. For more details on the hearings, visit the MTA’s website or check Tri-State’s calendar.

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