MTA Expected To Vote For Another Fare Hike For Trains, Buses, Bridges, Tunnels

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York commuters should get ready for a fasten-your-seatbelts moment, because anything run by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority – buses, subways, trains and bridges – is about to cost more.

As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, the price hike could pose a special problem for Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Next week, the state-controlled MTA board is expected to vote for an across-the-board fare hike of 4 percent.

MTA board member David Jones said the agency “does need the cash.”

So if you take the Metro-North Railroad or the Long Island Rail Road, use MTA bridges and tunnels, or use the buses and subways, the freight is going up.

Sources said the MTA favors a plan to raise the base fare of a subway ride from $2.75 to $3, while increasing the bonus for round trips.

Monthly MetroCards will go from $116.50 to $121, and weekly passes from $31 to $32.

The fare hike could be a political hot potato for Mayor de Blasio. The cost of a MetroCard has increased 50 percent since 2005, making it difficult for the working poor.

Transit advocates, MTA board members and more than half of the members of the City Council are demanding that Mayor de Blasio give the MTA $200 million, so people earning less than $24,000 a year can pay half fare.

“These are people actively trying to go to work,” Jones said.

City Hall has been resistant, with a mayoral spokesman telling CBS2, “The proposal is a noble one, however, it would require substantial new funding, which would add a significant and heavy lift for New York City to do on its own.”

Jones begs to differ.

“I think this is a reasonable effort, particularly for the mayor who has made inequality the basis of his campaign,” he said.

Commuters who talked with CBS2 were not pleased about the increase.

“Not good,” one man said.

“I think it really stinks,” said Sean Harrison of Middle Village, Queens. “You know, the service is lousy. It’s getting worse, and the fare is going up.”

“It’s going to be a lot for us to pay, especially college students,” a woman said.

But a man named Avery said the increase might be necessary.

“You need to, you know, to help make the subways more up to date,” he said.

Since 2003, there have been seven fare increases. This one would be the eighth.

The board is scheduled to vote Wednesday. The fare hikes will take effect March 19.

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