Friday, July 23, 2010

MTA Likely To Raise Fares Again

Expect more fare hikes in the future for the MTA, even as it fails to gets its bureaucracy under control. This time, the MTA is preparing a 7.5% fare hike.
One idea would raise the monthly MetroCard from $89 to $100 and limit the number of rides. Another would force riders to pay an extra buck for cards when they don’t refill old ones.

"A new MetroCard, it’s not quite a dollar, but there is a cost there. There’s a cost in cleaning up when people just sort of toss the MetroCards on the floor after they're done with them. So we hate to see any increase in cost, but that‘s one that at least has a rationale behind it," said William Henderson of the MTA Citizens Advisory Committee.

Advocates and the transit union say workers and riders get hit too hard because Albany has shortchanged transit. They promise to turn out in force for the board meeting and pressure lawmakers to resurrect some proposals they've already rejected.

"We need drivers to pay their fair share. Right now there’s too many free riders, on our East River bridges in particular, and by instituting some form of congestion pricing we can prevent this fare hike," White said.

The $2.25 single-ride fare could be preserved even if other fares go up. But riders say any increase at this time is tough to take.
Other proposals include surcharges for issuing Metrocards as well as setting limits on the unlimited Metrocards.

The opponents to this proposal are even attempting to float congestion pricing once again, even as people are railing against the high tax burden already on taxpayers, commuters, and businesses throughout the region.

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