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Commuters Beware! MTA Fare, Toll Hikes May Be On The Way

November 15, 2018 - 12:51 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Thursday announced the agency was on track to initiate fare and toll hikes of roughly 4 percent for 2019 and 2021.

During a board meeting, CFO Robert Foran said that delaying the fare hikes by even one year would result in a $325 million loss over two years.

The MTA has been facing a dramatic decrease in revenues as ridership on the city’s buses and subways continues to plummet.

Foran claims that transit agencies nationwide are facing similar issues, and said Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing service are the cause.

“Fare and total revenue projections over the plan period—that’s 2018 to 2022—are more than a billion dollars less than what we were projecting 18 months ago,” Foran explained.

The agency is weighing two options, or a combination of both, in order to inflict the least amount of pain.

Under the first proposal, the base fare would remain at $2.75 while eliminating bonuses.

The second option would raise the fare to $3 and increase the bonus to 10 percent – so riders who buy 10 rides will get one free.

Regardless which plan is selected, the price of a 30-day and 7-day pass will increase as well.

Fare Hikes
Peter Haskell/WCBS 880

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

Public transportation riders aren’t the only ones that will see an increase. The MTA also plans to increase bridge tolls by either 4 or 8 percent.

As WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reports, most crossings, including the Verrazzano –Narrows Bridge, would increase by a quarter or two.

Toll Hikes
Peter Haskell/WCBS 880

The MTA has come under fire recently by transit advocates and riders, who joined together Wednesday to demand state legislators vote on congestion pricing to fund transit improvements.

Republicans in the state Senate have strongly opposed the plan, but as Democrats prepare to take control, advocates are hoping the proposal may be reconsidered.

The fare hike proposals come amid declining ridership, complaints of worsening service and deteriorating stations.