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MTA Proposes 4 Percent Fare and Toll Hikes

By Jennifer H. Cunningham | November 17, 2014 6:35pm
 The MTA has proposed raising MetroCard fares by four percent over the next two years.
The MTA has proposed raising MetroCard fares by four percent over the next two years.
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 NEW YORK CITY — The cost of a monthly MetroCard could rise to $116.50.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority plans to raise fares and tolls by 4 percent over the next two years, according to two proposals released by the agency Monday.

Under one proposal, the base fare for a MetroCard would rise 25 cents to $2.75, while riders would get an 11 percent bonus — up from the current 5 percent — when they spend more than $5.50. Single Ride tickets would cost $3, up from the the current $2.75, according to the MTA.

Under the second proposal, the base MetroCard fare would stay at $2.50, but the fare bonus would be scrapped. Single Ride Tickets would stay at $2.75.

Both plans recommend raising the price of 30-Day MetroCards to $116.50, from $112, and 7-Day MetroCards by $1 to $31, according to the MTA.

If approved, it would be the fourth fare increase in seven years, and would go into effect in March 2015. 

"We have cut more than $1 billion from our ongoing expenses," MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas Prendergast said in a statement. "But a modest fare and toll increase is necessary to balance our budget against the increasing costs of providing the bus, subway, railroad and paratransit service that is the backbone of the region's mobility and economic growth." 

Riders will have the chance to speak out about the proposals at public hearings in all five boroughs scheduled next month, before the MTA Board votes in January. 

Gene Russianoff, staff attorney for the rider-advocacy group the Straphangers Campaign, said while he doesn't want a fare hike, he commended Prendergast for honoring his pledge not to raise fares beyond 4 percent. 

"I'd rather there be no fare increase," Russianoff said. "But do I think this is out of line? No. And, I'm heartened that he's sticking to his word, despite people whispering in his ear to slam the riders harder." 

The MTA is also proposing to raise car tolls for E-ZPass customers by 4 percent, equal to 21 cents at major crossings like the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge and the Queens Midtown Tunnel, according to a press release.

Full details of the fare and toll proposals can be found on the MTA's website.