N.Y. / Region



October 7, 2010, 10:41 am

M.T.A. Approves Transit Fare Increases

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Updated, 11:31 a.m. | The board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority voted 12 to 2 this morning to approve a package of fare increases for its subways, buses and commuter railroads, the third time in three years that New Yorkers face a stiff rise in the cost of getting around.

The unlimited 7-day and 30-day MetroCards for the city’s subway and bus system will remain unlimited, as the board rejected a proposal to cap the number of rides they are valid for. But the price of the passes will jump significantly. On Dec. 30, when the increases take effect, a 30-day unlimited card will cost $104, up from $89, a 17 percent increase, while an unlimited weekly pass will cost $29, up from $27. Single rides will rise 25 cents to $2.50.

The pricing regime places the biggest burden of the increases on the system’s most frequent riders, the third of straphangers who use 30-day passes. Transit officials said this action was fair, because that group also tends to be more affluent than other riders, according to the authority’s survey data.

But some board member at Thursday’s meeting objected. “This fare plan hits our best customers with the heftiest fare hike,” Andrew Albert, a nonvoting board member and chairman of the New York City Transit Riders Council, said shortly before the vote. “We should be rewarding our best customers.”

On the authority’s railroads, tickets on the Metro-North and the Long Island Rail Road, depending on distance, will rise 7 to 14 percent. And a $1 surcharge will be levied on riders who buy a new MetroCard rather than adding money to an older one.

The board members who voted against the increases were Norman I. Seabrook, president of the city correction officers’ union and a 2006 appointee of Gov. George E. Pataki; and Patrick J. Foye, a deputy county executive in Nassau County appointed at the recommendation of the county executive, Edward P. Mangano, in May.

Each said the increases could not be justified in the wake of the recent service cuts.

Over all, the fare increases are intended to generate 7.5 percent more revenue for the troubled transportation authority, which significantly cut transit services this year to close a yawning budget cap, brought on by depressed tax revenue and a cut in state financing. The board previously agreed to a 7.5 percent fare increase last year.

Mr. Albert echoed other remarks on Thursday when he expressed dismay that the authority was raising fares after instituting a severe set of service cuts over the summer. “Riders are being asked to pick up an inordinate amount of the slack,” Mr. Albert said. “This one comes on the heels of the worst service decreases in years. Higher fares and service cuts are a lose-lose for riders.”

But the authority’s bleak financial pressures all but ensured that the higher fares would go through. “We are not in a position to be able to avoid this increase,” said Jay H. Walder, the authority’s chairman, as the board prepared to vote.

If the increases are approved, the price of a monthly MetroCard will have risen 65 percent in 12 years, far outpacing inflation. The 30-day pass cost $63 a month when it was introduced in 1998.

A toll increase on the authority’s nine tunnels and bridges was also proposed, but the board will not vote on that plan until Oct. 27. Drivers who pay cash potentially face an increase of 30 percent or higher, while E-ZPass drivers may not pay any increase at all, under a proposal gaining momentum on the board.


From 1 to 25 of 265 Comments

1 2 3 ... 11
  1. 1. October 7, 2010 11:01 am Link

    This is outrageous. Why is there no mention by Chairman Walder of adjusting down the absurd salaries and salary increases MTA employees get or the, I’m sure, generous pension benefits MTA employees receive? If the MTA is hurting, then everyone involved, on both sides of the table, must share the burden of fixing the problem!

    — Reuben
  2. 2. October 7, 2010 11:10 am Link

    I have to laugh at all the commuters who don’t use E-Z Pass and instead suffer through waiting on the cash lines. SUCK IT UP AND GET AN E-Z PASS!

    — Michael
  3. 3. October 7, 2010 11:13 am Link

    Finally.. my wife and I got hit with a hefty Transportation Tax for the MTA last year because we’re both self-employed.. glad to see everyone else will be pitching in as well..

    — getoutsidenyc
  4. 4. October 7, 2010 11:20 am Link

    “And a $1 surcharge will be levied on riders who buy a new MetroCard rather than adding money to an older one.”

    How will the MTA distinguish between someone buying a new Metrocard rather than adding money to an older one vs someone buying a new Metrocard because they cannot add money to an older (i.e. expiring/expired) one? Plans to implement a card-takeback feature in the vending machines or will we be forced to line up at an increasingly rare staffed booth?

    — red
  5. 5. October 7, 2010 11:22 am Link

    So are they finally going to let monthly unlimited cards be reused instead of having to get a new one every month (what a waste)? Or will all their loyal monthly customers have to pay that extra $1 every time they want a new monthly card?

    — Eleanor
  6. 6. October 7, 2010 11:23 am Link

    So people who ride the subway more have to pay the biggest increase but people who bring their cars into the city the most may not pay any increase at all? On what planet is this sensible?

    — Helena
  7. 7. October 7, 2010 11:23 am Link

    Where was the proposal to cut the salaries of all the executives making >100K? Showing some sign of solidarity with the riders might make a fare increase more palatable. It seems clear, however, that financial efficiency has not been addressed.

    — St. Augustine
  8. 8. October 7, 2010 11:26 am Link

    “Transit officials said this action was fair, because that group also tends to be more affluent than other riders, according to the authority’s survey data.”

    It’s pretty sad when the motorman and conductor earn more in a year than those “affluent” riders.

    But somebody has to pay for those “mysterious” injuries right before retirement to fund the disability pension that seem to only happen in the public sector….

    or the timecard roulette they play out on Long Island….

    and on, and on, and on….the more things change, the more they stay the same.

    Vote Tammany!

    — Pat
  9. 9. October 7, 2010 11:29 am Link

    People who use the 30-day unlimited are more affluent?

    Come January 1, people who want unlimited 30-day cards HAVE to be affluent.

    — Victor
  10. 10. October 7, 2010 11:30 am Link

    Once again the MTA seems to ignore the Express Bus riders when giving the new figures. Our rides are more than double the regular fare at $5.50 per ride. Our weekly cards (which used to cover the now defunct week-end Express Buses) are $45.00. That is $180 per month. These figures always seem to be hidden when giving out the new info.

    — DJ
  11. 11. October 7, 2010 11:32 am Link

    Why do they not cut salaries that are over $100,000.00 per year for top paid idiots??????

    — Inky Glass
  12. 12. October 7, 2010 11:39 am Link

    So how long they increase the fares again? 2011

    — marcus
  13. 13. October 7, 2010 11:43 am Link

    OK, I’m going to have to look for a job in NJ.

    — ACW
  14. 14. October 7, 2010 11:44 am Link

    I don’t get it. The MTA is a monopoly. Right? If yes, then why limit the increases between 7%-17%? The public doesn’t have a choice (they won’t or can’t drive in and pay $30-40 day/parking). The MTA should ’shoot the moon’ and request a 27%-47% increase. They simply show that their finances are in disarray and [POOF] they get their funding…and more!

    And I thought the cost of higher education was out-of- control!

    — MH
  15. 15. October 7, 2010 11:46 am Link

    Start buying bikes, people.

    — RR
  16. 16. October 7, 2010 11:49 am Link

    Stop! Thieves!

    — Corruption Corruption
  17. 17. October 7, 2010 11:49 am Link

    So the people with the lowest carbon footprint get to pay more to be shoved into an over crowded train with no room to breathe let alone move. These service cuts have significantly created commutes that are unpleasant and dangerous. The day after the service cut on my line people were arguing about the polls; afterwards it turned into a fist fight on a crowded train where the elderly and children were forced to stand.

    We’re not animals, please stop treating us like this.

    — Stephen
  18. 18. October 7, 2010 11:52 am Link

    Um, would you care to say what the subway increase is for the majority of people? Those are the people who don’t get a monthly but buy enough at a time so that they get the discount.

    — Al M
  19. 19. October 7, 2010 11:57 am Link

    Look for the union label…

    — Silk
  20. 20. October 7, 2010 12:04 pm Link

    How incredibly frustrating. I understand that the MTA is experiencing enormous budget struggles. I also understand that they’re implementing a number of measures to try and improve the subway system. However, at the risk of sounding short-sighed – as I know that they’re putting certain measures in place to increase revenue long-term – when nonessential items are rolled out, like screens telling me what my wait time is and televisions within the subway cars, it makes these fare increases all the more exasperating.

    — Courtney
  21. 21. October 7, 2010 12:05 pm Link

    A $1 surcharge for new Metrocards? That would be fair if the cards didn’t expire. But they do expire. So every 13 months I will need to pay the surcharge. Maybe they can offer a waiver on the surcharge if a new card is exchanged?

    — John Orosz
  22. 22. October 7, 2010 12:05 pm Link

    charging $1 for every new metrocard is ridiculous. Those cards are flimsy and ultimately need to be replaced. And as for the part about the affluent riders… seriously… cant just say middle class… i am sure the upper class are not taking the subways… thats what all of the parking lots are for. call it what it is another tax on the middle class. effluent in my opinion!

    — not surprised
  23. 23. October 7, 2010 12:08 pm Link

    Well, MTA, you’ve made my decision much easier – I’ll keep the $1,248 ($104 x 12) I’d spend in 2011 on the subway, and buy a great road bike instead for 1/4 of the cost.

    I would have much less of a problem with this had the MTA not had a massive surplus years ago, with which they decided to simply add an extra 10 days for free to Unlimited MetroCards at the Holiday Season. We’re not asking for anything beyond competence in management, but apparently that’s too much to ask.

    — Lenny
  24. 24. October 7, 2010 12:11 pm Link

    I would love to be explained in details the financial situation of that circus called the MTA. There are millions of users everyday !

    — pierre
  25. 25. October 7, 2010 12:11 pm Link

    How do I get an ezee pass?

    — Brian Shapiro
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