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Proposed MTA Subway And Bus Fare Hike To Go Easier On Everyday Riders

If You Only Occasionally Use System, You Could See More Dramatic Increase
New York City Subway (file / credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

New York City Subway (file / credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There was good news and bad news for straphangers on Monday. Bus and subway fares are going up.

But for those who use mass transit a lot — it might not be as much as you thought, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported.

It might be the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s final offer, a fare hike plan for bus and subway riders that spares frequent users and slaps the biggest hikes on those who don’t take mass transit very much.

But that doesn’t mean straphangers like it.

“For working people in New York who have to ride the subway, it’s totally unfair,” Midtown resident Peter Athenson said.

“I think it’s chronically unfair. It is a monopoly. We really have no push-back against it,” added Tom Healy of Massapequa. “They’re making it harder and harder for people to get to work and do their job.”

Board members CBS 2’s Kramer spoke with said that the latest fare plan will put a bigger burden on tourists and those who use the system only occasionally.

That’s because under this plan the base fare will go up a quarter to $2.50, but the seven-day MetroCard will go up only $1 to $30, and the 30-day MetroCard will go up $8 to $112.

Under some of the plans considered by the MTA the 30-day card could have gone as high as $125.

“I always buy the monthly ticket so it works for me. I mean, sooner or later they’re going to raise it. I’d rather later than sooner, but what are you going to do?” said Barbara Gilson of Washington Heights.

WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell On The Story

Riders at Times Square were less than thrilled Monday morning.

“Money’s tight. The economy’s in the crapper. What are you going to do?” one man told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell.

“What can we do? What can we do? We have no choice,” another said.

Still another said, “It is what it is. They got to fix the transit system, too, you know. They got to clean it. This is part of life.”

A spokesman for MTA Chairman Joe Lhota said talks on the final fare plan are still going on and that Lhota plans to make his recommendations to the board by this weekend.

“The MTA will continue to keep costs down, enhance service and adopt a fare/toll structure that has the least impact on the greatest number of customers,” the spokesman said.

“It’s horrible. They shouldn’t raise the fare,” said Bronx resident Milton Pelotte. “It’s already too much now.”

When told the MTA is trying to limit the kid of fare increases that he’d have to pay and make people who are tourist pay more, Pelotte countered, “But it’s still going to blow back on us.”

Before this fare proposal is finalized officials will also have to work out the hikes for Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North riders and for people who use MTA bridges and tunnels.

Also under discussion is a discount for Staten Island residents who use the Verrazano Bridge.

The vote is scheduled for Dec. 19.

The hike would go into effect in March, and was being planned long before Superstorm Sandy hit.

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