NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It’s going to cost you more to ride.
The MTA says a fare hike is coming.
WATCH: MTA Officials Take Questions On Fare Hike
“We are in need of additional revenue because we’ve seen a significant reduction in funds from fares and tolls,” said MTA Chief Financial Officer Robert Foran.
It’s grim news as the MTA board members began discussing Thursday not when, but how to raise fares and tolls next year. The reason? A dramatic drop in income.
“Fare and toll revenue has fallen $1 billion in the last 18 months.
Some officials blame declining ridership on subways and buses. Last May, there were 193,000 fewer daily passengers, which caused a drop of $485 million in revenue for the Transit Authority alone.
WATCH: Full MTA Board Meeting
For bus and subway riders, there are two choices:So the MTA board has some very tough decisions to make, reported CBS2’s Marcia Kramer.
- Option 1: Keep the base fare at $2.75 and eliminate Metrocard bonuses
- Option 2: Increase the base fare to $3 and keep the Metrocard bonuses
For the MTA bridges and tunnels, there are also two choices: A four percent or eight percent hike, with the extra funds going for capital improvements.
Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road riders can expect a hike of about four percent. Officials say the maximum increase on monthly tickets would be $15, and the maximum increase on weekly tickets would be $5.75.
Board member Larry Schwartz says before the board votes to hike fares, they should crack down on fare evasion.
“It’s not declining ridership, it’s fare evasion. The problem is people are not paying,” Schwartz said. “What is the solution to fix it?”
There will be public eharings before any fare hike is voted on.
The hike is supposed to go into effect next March.