By spring, New York’s public transit fares are set to rise. The only question is how.
At a recent meeting of the Board of MTA, a strategic goal was determined – to increase revenues by 4% due to higher tariffs. Now agency officials are discussing various options for achieving this goal.
One of them is to keep the base cost at the current level, that is, $ 2.75, but cancel weekly and monthly metrocards for unlimited travel.
Another suggestion is to raise the cost of one trip to $ 2.85. There is also an idea to charge not $ 1 for the purchase of a metro card, as it is now, but $ 3, and at the same time cancel the payment in coins on buses, so that passengers will have to purchase metro cards.
The MTA leadership invited New Yorkers to take part in the discussion of these plans. A final decision should be reached in January.
The option of eliminating unlimited metro cards is prompted by the fact that their use has significantly decreased during the epidemic. Now they are bought by 34% of passengers, and in 2019 the figure was 51%. The cancellation is in favor of Larry Schwartz, a former assistant to Governor Cuomo and now head of the MTA finance committee.
According to Schwartz, the current base fare of $ 2.75 should be kept as New Yorkers prefer to pay for a certain number of trips rather than for the duration of the metro card.
What about other modes of transport? To increase revenues by 4% on Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Rail Road, the cost of a single trip and a set of 10 tickets will have to increase by more than 4%, but the cost of a weekly and monthly pass will remain unchanged. The management of these roads is also considering a complete change in the toll system. In this case, tickets will be divided into three categories: for travel only within the city limits, only outside this line, and for mixed routes, including both the city and the suburbs.
It is planned to raise tolls both on bridges and in tunnels by 8%. One proposal would require drivers to pay $ 6.70 more at all intersections. In another variant, the tariff will vary depending on the density of the traffic flow.
AIT Chairman Patrick Foy said that all kinds of rise in prices for transport cannot be avoided, as the agency is in a dire financial situation. However, he admitted that the passengers, many of whom have lost their jobs due to the epidemic, also have a hard time.
How much will we pay for travel