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MTA Kicks Off Second Round Of Public Hearings

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A woman passes her MetroCard through a reader at Grand Central station (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

A woman passes her MetroCard through a reader at Grand Central station (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (1010 WINS/WCBS 880/CBS 2) – The MTA has begun another round of hearings for proposed increases in fares, ticket prices and tolls.

The first of the five public hearings began Monday night at the Cooper Union Great Hall on 7th Street in Manhattan.

For more information on upcoming hearings, click here

Straphangers were expected to give the MTA a piece of their mind as the transit agency mulls increasing the prices of unlimited MetroCards and/or capping the use of the cards to a limited number of trips.

Transportation activists already held a protest preceding Monday’s hearing outside Cooper Union.

1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon reported that while a number of seats remained empty at Monday’s hearing, those who came out were “vocal and outraged.”

The hearing also featured extensive complaining about Albany’s funding cuts to the transit agency, Rincon reported.

The MTA says it will offer either a 90-trip limited card for $99, or an unlimited card for $104. But if they were to offer both, the MTA says the cost of unlimited cards would soar to $130.

And for weekly MetroCards, the options could be 22 trips for $28, or unlimited for $29. But, if both options were offered, unlimited cards would cost $38.

However, in August, an MTA spokesman said the highest fares weren’t part of the proposed changes – rather they were an explanation to a Board member’s question about what it would cost to offer both capped and unlimited options.

The proposed changes have to do with the MTA’s goal of raising $400 million in additional revenues as part of its agreement with the State Legislature to fill its budget gap by increasing its revenues by 7.5 percent.

The board’s final vote is expected at a meeting in late October.

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