MTA Announces Fare Hikes Across The Board
The fare increases aim to raise additional revenue to support the New York region’s transportation system. The proposals were justified by the new MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph Lhota.
“Costs that the MTA does not exercise control over, namely those for debt service, pensions, energy, paratransit, and employee and retiree health care, continue to increase beyond the rate of inflation,” Lhota said. “We are grappling with long-term measures to reduce these frustrating and difficult non-discretionary expenses, but today, they are the drivers of the need for a fare and toll increase.”
The fare and toll proposals will be the subject of a geographically diverse, multi-platform public review process that lasts through mid-December. The proposals will be subject to modification after the public review process and will be considered for adoption by the MTA Board at its December 19 meeting. The new fare and toll rates would go into effect on or about March 1, 2013.
“The public will have significant input into our decision making process. In the spirit of transparency, the public will assist in shaping our fare policy,” said Chairman Lhota. “These proposals have been designed to balance our need for revenue with public involvement. We need to hear from the public. Feedback evaluating the specific alternatives we’ve put forward is particularly useful, but we value all our customers’ input, and we’ll consider changes to our proposals based on what we hear and read.”
The MTA has put forward a slate of four alternative proposals for subway and local bus fares, each of which is projected to increase revenue by the same aggregate amount. The proposals, labeled 1A, 1B, 2A and 2B, differ in the way they treat the base fare, the time-based unlimited ride MetroCards, and the MetroCard bonus discount of 7 percent that customers receive for putting at least $10 on a pay-per-ride card. The current base fare is $2.25, or effectively $2.10 with the bonus discount. The current cost for a 30-day unlimited card is $104; a 7-day card costs $29.
Under Proposal 1, the base fare would rise to $2.50. Under proposal 1A, the bonus discount would remain unchanged, effectively providing a per-trip fare of $2.34. Under this proposal, the 30-day unlimited MetroCard would rise to $112 and the 7-day would rise to $30. Under proposal 1B, the bonus discount would be eliminated but the increases to time-based cards would be lower. The 30-day would rise to $109 and the 7-day would remain unchanged.
Under Proposal 2, the base fare would remain unchanged. Under Proposal 2A, the bonus discount would be reduced to 5 percent increasing the per-trip fare to $2.14. Under this proposal, the 30-day unlimited
MetroCard would rise to $125 and the 7-day would rise to $34. Under Proposal 2B, the bonus discount would be eliminated, the 30-day card would rise to $119, and the 7-day would rise to $32.
Under all proposals, the $1 surcharge for purchasing a new MetroCard, designed to encourage New Yorkers to refill their existing cards and thereby reduce litter and MetroCard production costs, would be implemented.
At the Marine Parkway Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge and the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge, the E-ZPass rate would rise to $1.99 from the current $1.80, and the cash rate would rise to $3.75 from the current $3.25. The Rockaway resident rebate program would remain in place for residents of the Rockaway Peninsula and Broad Channel with registered EZPasses. These drivers will continue to have their Cross Bay Bridge tolls rebated.