Tuesday, August 24, 2010

MTA Playing Games With Proposed Fare Hikes

The MTA has threatened to make the unlimited Metrocards limited or increasing their costs significantly. Previously, they indicated that the 30-day unlimited Metrocards would see an increase to $104 from $89. If that wasn't bad enough, the MTA now thinks that the proposed fare hikes aren't sufficient.

Now, the MTA thinks that the 30-day unlimited cards should increase to $130. That's an increase of $41 (or roughly $492 per year). It would represent a 46% fare hike.

Seven-day unlimited Metrocards would increase as well - from $27 to $38. That would be a 40% fare hike.

If there's anything that will drive people to avoid the MTA system, that's it.

More to the point, this is all part of the MTA fare game. They want people to feel somehow better about the situation when the fare hikes fall into a range below the highest ranges (if the 30-day unlimited card fare hike is approved for $110, rather than $130 for example). It's an ongoing shell game that the agency plays every time a fare hike is considered.

The unlimited Metrocards have done wonders for reducing congestion around the city and helped rejuvenate many areas of the city that are accessible by mass transit. The proposed hikes would hurt the working class hardest since they have the fewest alternative options. Whatever gain the MTA may hope to achieve through higher fares will be offset by those people who simply stop taking the buses and subways.

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