Get ready, straphangers – subway fare hikes are coming

subway-train

Image source: Adam E. Moreira on Wikimedia Commons

The Daily News reports that subway fare hikes are going to become a reality. Despite the impression that most everyone drives in Queens, that’s simply not the case – especially in Western Queens, lots of people rely on public transportation to get around (and rent a Zipcar if they need to head out of town) and the subway is their lifeline.

The MTA is proposing the following possible fare hikes.

Monthly MetroCard

  • Increase the the monthly MetroCard to $119 (up $15) and eliminate the pay-per-ride 7% MetroCard bonus.
  • Increase the monthly MetroCard to $125 (up $21) and reduce the pay-per-ride MetroCard bonus from 7% to 5%.

Weekly MetroCard

  • Increase the weekly unlimited-ride MetroCard to $32 (up $3) and eliminate the Pay-Per-Ride 7% MetroCard bonus.
  • Increase the weekly unlimited-ride MetroCard to $34 (up $5) and reduce the Pay-Per-Ride MetroCard bonus from 7% to 5%.

These increases would keep the base subway and bus fare of $2.25. The MTA is also looking at some options to raise the base price of a single ride from $2.25 to $2.50, but this increase would “trigger additional fare changes to the MetroCard bonus and the time-based MetroCards.”

Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign says, “Enough is enough!” and decries the MTA’s plan to raise fares. Transit officials maintain their position that fare hikes are necessary despite the “unprecedented” cost cutting done at the MTA, and that riders need to “pay more because of so-called ‘uncontrollable costs’ like pensions, which are set by the state Legislature.”

These fare hikes will collect $232 million in additional revenue from riders.

There will be a series of public hearings next month, in advance of implementing these fare hikes. A vote on the fare hikes could happen in December, and new prices could go into effect as early as March 2013. A schedule for the November hearings can be found here. In Queens, the public hearing will take place on Thursday, November 15 at 5pm at Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel Ballroom in Flushing (135-20 39th Avenue – GMAP).

MTA’s four fare-hike options all hit riders hard [NYDN]
MTA fare, toll hike hearings scheduled [FOX]