Commuters Brace For More MTA Fare & Toll Hikes

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — With another Metropolitan Transportation Authority fare and toll increase set to kick in Sunday, AAA’s Robert Sinclair has just one question:

“Where is the money going? And riders certainly can’t see it.”

Bridge and tunnel tolls will go up by 4 percent for E-ZPass users and about 6 percent to 10 percent for cash customers.

The cash toll on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is going up to $16, while other crossings are seeing a hike to $8, WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reported.

Sinclair said it’s a cash grab by the MTA.

“You could really collect tolls from Jan. 1 to about June 19 and then stop, and you’d have all the money necessary to maintain the facilities,” he said. “All the extra money that’s collected goes to mass transit.”

Sinclair said the toll hike on trucks means shipping costs could go up and everyone pays more at the store.

“It sort of acts as a regressive tax on anyone who buys anything in our area,” he said.

Mass transit riders will also see an increase on Sunday.

Base fares on subway and bus rides will go up by 25 cents, from $2.50 to $2.75. The 30-day unlimited MetroCard will increase by $4.50, from $112 to $116.50, and the seven-day unlimited card by $1, from $30 to $31.

Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road fares will increase 4 percent. Average fares will increase about $10.

The MTA said the hikes are needed to balance the budget against rising operating costs, pointing out they’ve cut $1 billion in spending, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported on Friday.

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