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MTA Chairman Defends Proposed Fare Hikes

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Subway Train (credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Subway Train (credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

haskell_feature Peter Haskell
Peter Haskell joined WCBS in 1994. This followed stints at WCTC Radio...
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – There’s no way around it. If you ride a MTA train or bus, you’ll soon be paying more.

As the MTA held the last of its public hearings on proposed fare hikes Tuesday night, the agency’s chairman and CEO is still explaining why the increases are necessary.

“I don’t see any way as we stand right now to avoid a fair increase as we look to January,” Jay Walder told WCBS 880′s Peter Haskell.

LISTEN: WCBS 880′s Peter Haskell reports fare hikes are in the future

Walder said revenues have come up $900 million short and he will not take money from the capital budget and jeopardize projects like the 2nd Avenue Subway in the extension of the number 7 to make fare hikes less painful.

“I believe that it is our responsibility right now to ensure that we complete those projects. We complete them on time and on budget, get them done and not leave holes in the ground for another generation,” Walder said.

Walder said the MTA has already cut $500 million in spending and another three quarters of a billion dollars in cuts is on its way.

“We’re working on other efforts in consolidation right now in communications, in IT, in purchasing etc. and I think you’ll see savings of significant amounts of money as we go forward,” Walder said.

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