New York's MTA is planning for a future of raising fares every two years. While the MTA won't put a dollar amount on what that will look like, the Straphangers Campaign has no such compunction. According to their calculations, in ten years the current cost of a monthly MetroCard will go from $112 to $168.
The MTA began raising fares biennially in 2009. The most recent increase went into effect in March.
“Without more financial support from Albany, the MTA might as well start making announcements that ‘there is a fare hike right behind this one," said Gene Russianoff, staff attorney for the Straphangers Campaign, who says Albany needs to find new funding sources to soften the blow.
That sentiment was more or less echoed by the MTA at its board meeting last week, when the agency unveiled a projected operating budget building in fare increases every other year. At the time, MTA chief Tom Prendergast said "the issue of what the size of that fare increase is, and how we can manage our costs and increase our revenues to maybe have a different number than what is projected today, is a focus we will have."
The Straphangers' report, done in conjunction with the New York City Independent Budget Office, assumes fare increases of 8.4 percent every two years through 2023.
Under that calculation, in ten years the base fare -- currently $2.50 -- would hit $3.75.
"This is a hypothetical number," said MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg, who added that it was "way too early" to talk about specific numbers. "But what's real is that we have cut our expenses by $800 million since 2012."
Read the Straphangers report here.