MTA Votes Yes on Fare Hikes
By Kiratiana Freelon on October 7, 2010 11:04am |
By Jennifer Glickel and Nina Mandell
MIDTOWN — Despite massive opposition from riders and even some from board members, the MTA passed a controversial proposal Thursday to raise bus and subway fares, bringing the price of a 30-day unlimited MetroCard to a whopping $104.
The MTA board passed a number of other fare hikes, including the following:
- The cost of one subway ride will go from $2.25 to $2.50 when you buy a single-ride card. Refills on existing cards will remain at $2.25 per ride.
- The seven-day card will go from $27 to $29.
- One-day and 14-day unlimited ride cards will be eliminated.
- Purchasing a new MetroCard instead of refilling an existing card will cost $1.
The hikes will go into effect Dec. 30. The changes will net the MTA an anticipated 7.5 percent in revenue.
"I would rather have expensive fares than no service," said MTA board member Susan Metzger, who voted yes for the fare hike.
Frustrated straphangers and MTA employees attacked the board at the public meeting on Thursday morning, accusing members of being oblivious to the needs of New York City commuters.
"Never have I seen the anger higher at this board of rich people who don’t even ride their own transit system," said Marty Goodman, an MTA station agent.
MTA Chairman and CEO Jay Walder defended the vote, saying the board had no other choice but to raise fares.
"I would certainly accept that some of these actions were painful for our customers and employees," Walder said.
"While we all know that the state revenues fell far short of what was projected, we here at this board and at this company have taken extraordinary measures to stick to our side of the deal and bring in 7.5 percent in revenue."
Some board members spoke out openly against the vote, including nonvoting member Andrew Albert.
"We should be rewarding our best customers for being our best customers, and instead we’re punishing them," Albert said.
Riders were furious when they heard the news.
"I think there are better ways of [balancing] the budget than than raising fares," said 20-year-old Anastasia Bana as she waited for the train in Rockfeller Center. "There's no need to buy all the new trains that we can't even use in rush hours."
"It makes me wonder if the MTA people have ever taken trains."
Manhattan resident Audrey Green said she thought the MTA should look a little deeper into common sense costs cuts, like cutting extra perks for employees.
"I think it's terrible because the service is terrible," she said, as she waited for the bus. "They need to restore more service."
Brooklynite Jason Sutton said he was annoyed at the extra hike in his commute — especially considering there was a surplus only a few years ago.
"I think it's a disgrace," he said, as he waited for the train which he said he took four times a day. "I think they should cut the MTA executives' salaries."
Even board members seemed exhausted after the vote.
On the elevator down in the MTA building, board member Patrick Foye shook his head sadly at a reporter.
"Well that was fun, wasn't it?" he said.