MTA Board Approves $17 Billion Budget Relying Heavily On Fare Hikes

December 12, 2018 - 2:30 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The MTA board has approved a 2019 budget that relies heavily on fare hikes.

The board approved the $17 billion budget on Wednesday, but the exact scope of the fare hikes, which is meant to fill a $250 million gap, will not be voted on until January.

Two of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s appointees, Veronica Vanderpool and Carl Weisbrod, refused to vote on the budget, saying it was not truly balanced.

“Because we have, as has been indicated, at the very least, $270 million of an assumed fare increase that a good number of people on this board and elsewhere have indicated they do not support,” Weisbrod said.

One plan under consideration would keep the $2.75 base fare while sharply increasing weekly and monthly passes.

Another option would be to increase the base fare by a quarter and add a better bonus on subway passes.

Even with the fare hikes, Transit Chief Andy Byford and other MTA officials have already said the system will face budget cuts, including less train sanitation.