MTA proposes to increase bus and subway fares to $2.90 by the end of summer

MTA proposes to increase bus and subway fares to .90 by the end of summer

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Monday proposed raising the base fare for a New York City subway, bus or paratransit ride by 5 percent, from $2.75 to $2.90 — the first increase in base fare since 2015.

The proposal would increase the cost of a seven-day MetroCard by 3 percent, from $33 to $34, and the cost of a 30-day MetroCard by 4 percent, from $127 to $132, the first increase since 2019. Express bus fare service, Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad would also increase, as would tolls on the authority’s bridges and tunnels.

Officials said that even if the authority’s board approves the increases, which are expected to generate $305 million a year in revenue, they will go into effect no later than Labor Day.

New York City’s transit network, the largest in the United States, is a vital lifeline that millions of people rely on every day, especially to get to and from work.

Even operating at only 70 percent of its pre-pandemic ridership levels, the metro has carried four million passengers on several weekdays since last month.

Officials said the authority sought to mitigate the impact of the proposed increase on working New Yorkers by introducing more modest increases on weekly and monthly MetroCards. However, any increase in essential costs is likely to have an impact in times of high inflation.

Danny Perlstein, a spokesman for the Riders Alliance, an advocacy group, said the fare increase was inevitable, but he urged Mayor Eric Adams to expand eligibility for the city’s Farewell program, which provides up to half that for poor New Yorkers. Offers value rentals to those who qualify. ,

Mr. Perlstein said, “Riders need our mayor to help those less able to afford the hike.

The proposed increase is not as large as it could have been. Before Governor Cathy Hochul, who controls the authority, and lawmakers enacted this year’s state budget, the MTA faced huge losses that were partly the result of the pandemic’s impact on ridership.

The final budget included a payroll tax on large New York City businesses that prepared for mass transit, a one-time payment of $300 million to the authority and set aside an additional $65 million to reduce any potential for major increases. .

Metro has struggled financially since at least the 1970s, when municipal fiscal woes exacerbated myriad problems caused by the system’s creaking infrastructure. To help prevent further decline, lawmakers moved in the 1980s to allow the authority to issue bonds, but since then the agency’s debt has exploded, and expenses have exceeded income.

The pandemic created new financial headaches, with riders abandoning the subway and buses, reducing critical fare revenue.

The authority board is expected to hold public hearings on the proposal next month and vote on it in July.


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