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Transit Advocates Frustrated By Likely MTA Fare Hikes

MetroCard (credit: Evan Bindelglass / CBSNewYork)

MetroCard (file/credit: Evan Bindelglass /CBSNewYork)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Transit advocates expressed frustration Saturday, as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority prepares for its fourth fare hike in five years.

As WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reported, of the four possible plans being talked about, two would hike the base fare to $2.50, and three would reduce or eliminate the MetroCard bonus. Another would see monthly passes skyrocket to $125.

WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reports

“It’s pick your poison time,” said Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign.

Russianoff said someone is going to have to pay more once again.

“The MTA is broke, and it has a deficit,” he said, “and how do we fill that deficit?”

Long-term, Russianoff said the answer is that the MTA needs more help from Albany on tolls on the East River bridges.

“They’ve got to figure out a way to not keep regularly hitting the riders,” he said.

But for now, the only recourse for MTA commuters is to sound off at public hearings next month.

One of the options would leave the base fare at $2.25. A monthly MetroCard would be $125, a $21 increase and an unlimited weekly would be $34, a $5 hike.

The second proposal would also leave the base at $2.25 and charge $119 for the monthly, $32 for the weekly and reduce the per-ride MetroCard bonus from 7 percent to 5 percent.

Two other options raise the base fare to $2.50, with lesser rates for monthly and weekly cards.

The MTA will formally announce all its fare hike proposals on Monday. In addition to buses and subways, tolls on the agency’s nine bridges and tunnels will rise, as will Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North tickets.