MTA Board To Vote On Possible Fare Hikes This Week

January 23, 2019 - 1:36 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The MTA board will vote Thursday on whether to increase bus and subway fares.

One plan calls for keeping the base subway and bus fare at $2.75, but eliminating the pay per ride bonuses. Another raises the base fare to $3.00 and doubles the bonus to 10 percent, the plan would also cause a weekly pass to go up $1 and a monthly pass to go up by $6.

“Well it puts the cart before the train, as we say,” said Danny Pearlstein of the Riders Alliance.

The possible fare hikes were announced in November 2018 and drew harsh criticism from New Yorkers who rely on the buses and subways daily.

Though, Transit Chief Andy Byford said the MTA needed to raise the fares as the authority faces a financial crisis that will only continue to get worse.

“If we don’t have a fare rise, that only makes things worse. The hole gets even bigger,” said Byford.

Pearlstein and the Riders Alliance say they want to see a solid plan in place to fix the subways before there is any discussion of fare increases.

“The governor’s in the driver’s seat. He needs to fund the MTA properly, he needs to start with congestion pricing in this current state budget,” Pearlstein said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has acknowledged that the MTA's finances are in bad shape but notes that there is a second problem: “The management of the MTA.”

He recently told WNYC that money cannot solve everything when no one is willing to take responsibility for the crumbling transit system.

“Just throwing more money into the tracks is not going to make a difference without the management reform,” Cuomo said.

Pearlstein notes that the governor’s comments were a bit ironic as the governor appoints the top management of the agency and “can have tremendous influence over how they operate.”