NYC Commuters React To MTA’s Fare Hikes

MTA OKs Fare Increase After Heated Board Meeting

NEW YORK (CBS 2/WCBS 880/1010 WINS/AP) — From city subways and buses to commuter railroads, millions will soon be paying more for mass transit after the MTA board approved fare hikes for the fourth time in 5 years.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reports on the fare hike
WCBS 880’s Catherine Cioffi on Westchester and the payroll tax
LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Kathleen Maloney reports on board members’ justification for the vote

CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reported that the 35 percent of riders who use the 30-day unlimited ride MetroCard would be among the hardest hit by the fare hikes. The price of the card will jump to $104 from the $89 it currently costs. Buying the card in 2011 will mean paying an extra $180 over the course of the year.

Other fares will increase, although not as much. The $2.25 one-way subway and bus fare will stay the same except for single-ride tickets, which will rise to $2.50.

Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road fares were also raised between 7-9 percent as a result of the vote, WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported.

Aiello spoke with some straphangers and asked where they might potentially cut back to make up for the fare hikes.

“I don’t know…I won’t have an iPhone anymore, I’d have to downgrade my phone or something,” Nicole Taffe said.

“I would probably cut back on my cable consumption,” Mark Anderson said.

Others contended that a rider rebellion would send a strong message to the MTA.

“What I think we should do is I think en masse, we should just jump the turnstiles,” said one straphanger who spoke to 1010 WINS’ Kathleen Maloney.

Emotions and tensions ran high at the MTA hearing Thursday night in which the hikes were approved following a 12-2 vote.

“How can you sleep at night voting for such a thing,” asked transit advocate Marty Goldman.

“The MTA is run by the same interests that control the whole government,” said Augustin Castro, another transit advocate. “A bunch of rich [expletive].”

Perennial dissenter and Board commissioner Norman Seabrook took issue with the namecalling.

“Give it to the mayor,” Seabrook said. “This is his city. He knows how to turn businesses around. If this was a private corporation – we would have closed up a long time ago.”

The vote came just a day after the Straphangers’ Campaign released its annual State of the Subways report card, which indicated that despite deep system wide service cuts and poor ride quality on the C and several other lines, the city’s subway system was cleaner and more reliable than last year.

MTA Chairman Jay Walder, citing a 20 percent reduction in administrative payroll, said the fare hikes could’ve been much steeper. Walder also added that raising the fares was the last option to avoid even more devastating service cuts.

“I would certainly accept that some of these actions were painful for our customers, and some of our employees,” Walder said. “I don’t think we can miss that.”

The MetroCard increases will take effect in December. Bridge and tunnel toll hikes will be voted on later.

(TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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  • Horace

    Everyone is still making the same amount of money , I don’t know why MTA thinks that the working class who are the MAJORITY of their customers can afford a 30 day unlimited card at 104 dollars. 90 dollars was a stretch , I don’t even know what to call 104 dollars. Nothing has changed in the system. Still have dirty stations , delayed trains and buses , bad security , dirty trains… They need to bring that price back down. People can’t live like this. People are right … The mayor is trying to force working class people out of the city. Eventually it’ll bite them in the ass.

    • Chris

      Exactly. They are trying to force working class people out of NYC. If London and Toronto can have clean and efficient transportation services at an affordable cost, why can’t NYC? Incompetence…

    • prada sway

      your so rite with every word u said

  • Keith

    F THE MTA!

    I made a facebook page.. please join if you’re enraged

  • Kitty

    I’m boycotting this bs. I’m buying a car. Seems worth it to pay insurance than to pay even a penny more for such terrible service. They need to be taught a lesson, if only people could stop using the service for a few days. Less trains and buses, no workers in the booth, no security, terrible service and more money for their mistakes. Yea, I think I rather a car payment, insurance and a ticket every now and then.

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  • anonymous

    It’s all Bloomberg’s fault. He has no back bone nor does he care for the working people. I really do not think he is a good business man. Look at the city and the mess we are in. He is the leader who else is to blame.

    We need Rudy back ! He would have would have gotten to the bottom of the B.S.
    Also How come Bloomberg’s never got the 3 Million back from them when they went on strike, Like he promised. I have not forgot where is that Money!

    • Mongoose

      Yeah, where is that money

  • Cos

    My 2 cents… (because that’s all I can afford with these hikes) How many people commute per day to/from work every day…? According to ANSWERS.COM, 1.1 million. Multiply that by 2. At the current price of $2.25, multiply this by the first number. This amounts to $4,950,000. That dollar amount reflects what they make each day (round trips included) in the normal work day. Multiply this by 5 to reflect a full work week and you get a whopping $24,750,000. Now, multiply this by 4 to reflect a month’s worth and you get $99,000,000. Finally, multiply this by 12 to reflect the entire year and you have a bottom line of $1,188,000,000 – for those who can’t tell, that’s nearly $1.2 billion dollars. Assuming this doesn’t include the amount of people that use Metro-North – or any other MTA owned line, that number goes up (I’m guessing here) by at least 25%. This would easily increase that number by at least $297,000,000 – giving you a grand total of $1,485,000,000 a year. Again, that’s almost $1.5 billion a year. This, of course, is not an accurate number and does not represent an accurate account for the actual cost of monthly tickets for MTA owned or Metro-North lines – which I’m guessing would raise that yearly number dramatically higher. All this said, how do you loose $800 million dollars? This is where the middle-class/working-class get the squeeze. Those who are unemployed and those who are well-to-do don’t have to worry about any of this. The middle/working-class are covering the cost for the other two. Eventually, there will no longer be a middle/working-class. They will have either committed suicide or they will loose everything. It’s just too much for anyone trying to make ends meet. But, the MTA doesn’t care – and neither does the brilliant Mayor/dictator Bloomberg. It’s my theory that he’s setting the entire city up for the wealthy ONLY. This is why the cost of a house in the South Bronx is over $400,000. I just don’t understand these increases year after year after year.

  • Cranky Britt

    Can the MTA bosses really think that we, the common working folks of NYC, can continue to dig deeper for another dime, dollar or what ever? This hole doesn’t have many more dimes in it!!
    Why can’t we have an indepentant, open, public audit of their books? Maybe they would ‘find’ some of the ‘lost’ money!!
    If we kept our personal banking in the same state as the MTA, we would be in the streets or infront of a judge for depts not paid!

  • Frank from the South Bronx

    And This LAME DUCK MAYOR wants to ban sugary soda from people on Food Stamps! It’s no coincidence that this comes as the MTA raises the fare.


  • Anthony

    This mis-management will continue indefinitely. I truly feel sorry for our children and grand children who if they choose to continue to live in New York will definitely not be able to afford it. New York will be a City of rich and poor. There will be no middle class.

  • Nathan

    mta said that the drastice service cuts made this past june were made in order to avoid a fare increase.
    mr walder makes a whopping $350 a year with a 5K housing allowance.
    fat cats have no idea what it costes to live and work and trave in this city.

    why are they not held accountable???????

  • Gman

    Mta always gets there way. Never mind going your way…………..

    • Rob

      You got that right.

  • Marie


  • dmnyc79

    This is getting more and more difficult to afford …

  • CSI

    Gotta take it as it comes. Unfortunately its the only way to get around. Soon enough its going to be cheaper to own a car.

  • Eric

    When will this madness end? Looks like the MTA can raise fare whenever they like. Don’t we, the general public, have a voice?

  • The Truth

    This comes down to one of two things. The decision makers are either unwilling to address the real issues the MTA has or they’re incompetent. Everyone knows that an independent audit would reveal the financial issues, and can therefore be addressed accordingly. Why has this not been done yet? Something to hide? unfortunately until any real action is taken, placing the burden on the riders will be the ONLY solution this wasteful agency will ever resort to. Be prepared for many more fare hikes folks.

  • Greg

    What an increase. I hope that service gets better.

  • CSI

    The average worker makes less then the MTA. Factor in health insurance and other benefits the average worker has to pay out of pocket. Really have to be smart in a business aspect. Instead of paying those people who stand and wait for the train at the end of the line 25 and hour just to do a half job sweep and mop the floor with dirty smelly water hire someone who will do good work and not complain about there job. When they actually do nothing. But thats union workers for you.

  • harriet in queens

    Yeah, go after the workers, it’s not like costs have been increasing across the board for everything and tax revenue is down, lets pick on the workers who have danagerous jobs, make less money than the average ny’er while iving in a city with a high cost of living, let us forget that the ecomony was driven into a ditch by the republicains and their supporting funders, big business.

  • LA

    I have the best solution stop giving MTA workers overtime. A MTA worker usually earns $30.00 per hour and with OT that doubles. Hire someone for less and that guaranteed savings. Idiots.

    • Mongoose

      At face this seems like one good solution among several on this board – why can’t people do things more efficiently. There is no way to justify so many increases in the last few years AND the services AND the horiible state of the subway and wildly apparent mismanagement….

  • bt

    They should stop spending money on all the fancy projects.

    • harriet in queens

      prey tell, what fancy projects. the second ave. subway line? come on, are they buying private gold plated cars for themselves, they have been cooking the books for years, but ‘fancy projects’ ?

  • CSI

    Yeah this is bull. Well if they charge us more we should see better service. Dont think it will happen but we can only hope. There is nothing anyone could do about it. They do what they want. What they should do is start charging MTA workers who take the MTA instead of a free ride. We all have to pay to go to work. Why not them. Thats like a 1,068 per MTA worker. Im sure they can close the gap with that. They also need to keep a closer eye on those track workers who they caught hanging out and having side business.

  • Tea

    I agree with ally on this one. The MTA should fire those who make so much and do so little. I swear every day when I go to work I see a lot of them just standing around twiddling their thumbs, chatting away. When they don’t get their way, its ok for them to hold strikes and demand pay raises. I think the government needs to investigate where all the money and budget goes to in the MTA. MTA Spokesman Kevin Ortiz does NOT understand jack s#it about the situation.

  • Rocky

    i THINK THE MTA SHOULD BE TAKEN OVER BY SOMEONE WITH BRAINS AND NOT ROB THE PUBLIC maybe by the TLC, The B61 bus in Red Hook Brooklyn where there is no bus for a half hour then 2 or 3 come at one time. The driver this morning kept chatting with a Female passenger over the WHITE LINE where is a no standing line.All the big shot do is sit on there GOLDEN URINALS

  • ally

    MTA (is not a old Robin Hood, rather they) rob from the poor, give to the rich.

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