Award–winning journalist Andrea Bernstein is the Metro Editor for WNYC News. She has previously served as Political Director, Director of Transportation Nation, and Senior Reporter.
The New York MTA has released its new fare hike proposals, bringing the cost of a monthly MetroCard to as much as $125 under one scenario.
The hikes, which came as the authority also proposed a one dollar rise in cash tolls over most of its bridges and tunnels -- to $7.50 -- are not unexpected. The authority has presented a virtually endless series of hikes to pay for its operations in its current budget.
MTA chief Joe Lhota said the increases are unavoidable. "Costs that the MTA does not exercise control over, namely those for debt service, pensions, energy, paratransit, and employee and retiree health care, continue to increase beyond the rate of inflation."
The proposals will now go to hearings before a final option is settled by the MTA board.
Our Jim O'Grady sends these notes from MTA's headquarters. We'll have a fleshed out version soon.
The current base fare of MetroCard is $2.25. A 30-day unlimited pass is $104, and a 7-day pass is $29.
There are four proposed versions of the increase, which the MTA is calling 1A, 1B, 2A and 2B. (Click on the below graphic for more detail.)
Under Proposal 1, the base fare would rise to $2.50. Under proposal 1A, the bonus discount would remain unchanged, effectively providing a per-trip fare of $2.34. Under this proposal, the 30-day unlimited MetroCard would rise to $112 and the 7-day would rise to $30. Under proposal 1B, the bonus discount would be eliminated but the increases to time-based cards would be lower. The 30-day would rise to $109 and the 7-day would remain unchanged.
Under Proposal 2, the base fare would remain unchanged. Under Proposal 2A, the bonus discount would be reduced to 5%, effectively increasing the per-trip fare to $2.14. Under this proposal, the 30-day unlimited MetroCard would rise to $125 and the 7-day would rise to $34. Under Proposal 2B, the bonus discount would be eliminated, the 30-day card would rise to $119, and the 7-day would rise to $32.
Under each of these proposals, the $1 surcharge for purchasing a new MetroCard would be implemented.
Eight public hearings are scheduled from November 7 to 15. The public can also record videotaped comments at MTA headquarters and train stations in Long Island and Westchester. From the MTA's website: Members of the public are also encouraged to submit written comments via to the MTA's website, or register to speak at a public hearing by calling (718) 521-3333 between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. MTA Board Members will review transcripts of all public hearings and submitted videos, as well as copies of all written comments submitted via the web.
The MTA says 2013 fare and toll increase must generate $450 million annually. The 2015 fare increase must raise $500 million annually.
38% of fare trips use bonus MetroCard
31% use 3o-day
16% - 7-day
10% - pay per ride
5% - cash
Most Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North tickets would rise by 8% to 9.3%, with the fee increase based on distance.
E-ZPass discounts (vs cash) remain.
RFK Bridge, Throgs Neck Bridge, Bronx-Whitestone Bridge, Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, Queens Midtown Tunnel:
E-ZPass - from $4.80 to $5.30
Cash - from $6.50 to $7.50
Verrazano Narrows Bridge:
E-ZPass round trip - from $9.60 to $10.60
Staten Island resident E-ZPass rate: from $5.76 to $6.36
Henry Hudson Bridge
E-ZPass - $2.20 to $2.43
Tolls by mail (camera snaps license plate, bill mailed to driver; this bridge is cashless) - $4 to $5
Cross Bay, Marine Parkway Bridges
E-ZPass $1.80 to $1.99