NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Nobody likes a fare hike when it comes to public transportation, but a straphangers’ advocate said Saturday that a hike may be fair and necessary for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

As WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane reported, Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign said it is legitimate for riders to shoulder some of the cost of running a system that has made some service improvements.

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Advocates, according to Russianoff, are also fretful about a vast gap in the MTA’s $30 billion capital plan with the transit system.

“They’re $15 billion short,” he said. “That’s giving the riders the short end of the stick, and we hope to work with our legislators leaders in Albany.”

The MTA is reportedly considering two proposals aimed at lifting revenue by 4 percent. One would raise the fare to $2.75 while expanding MetroCard discounts; the other would keep the fare at $2.50 while trimming price breaks, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week

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Both proposals would raise the price of monthly unlimited passes by $4, the Wall Street Journal reported.

MTA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Prendergast told a recent gathering that his job is to convince New Yorkers on the need for improvements. Two million additional riders are expected to squeeze onto the region’s transit system by 2035.

The MTA capital plan includes funding for the Second Avenue subway line, the completion of the so-called East Side Access project providing a faster commute from Long Island and Queens and four new Metro-North stations in the Bronx.

The five-year plan also includes upgrades to the existing system such as installing countdown clocks in more subway stations to let riders know when to expect a train.

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