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MTA Announces Proposals for Fare Increases

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has unveiled proposals that would increase fares and tolls to raise additional, vitally needed revenue to support the New York region's transportation system.

The increases come during an era of successful and unprecedented MTA management actions to cut controllable expenses. In fact, the MTA will spend less in 2012 on its controllable costs than it did in 2011. Year-over-year controllable costs are lower by 0.3%.

MetroCard image

"Costs that the MTA does not exercise control over, namely those for debt service, pensions, energy, paratransit, and employee and retiree health care, continue to increase beyond the rate of inflation," said MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph J. Lhota. "We are grappling with long-term measures to reduce these frustrating and difficult non-discretionary expenses, but today, they are the drivers of the need for a fare and toll increase."

The fare and toll proposals will be the subject of a geographically diverse, multi-platform public review process that starts today and lasts through mid-December. The proposals will be subject to modification after the public review process and will be considered for adoption by the MTA Board at its December 19 meeting. The new fare and toll rates would go into effect on or about March 1, 2013.

"The public will have significant input into our decision-making process. In the spirit of transparency, the public will assist in shaping our fare policy," said Chairman Lhota. "These proposals have been designed to balance our need for revenue with public involvement. We need to hear from the public. Feedback evaluating the specific alternatives we've put forward is particularly useful, but we value all our customers' input, and we'll consider changes to our proposals based on what we hear and read."

Following are details of the proposed fare and toll increases, broken down by MTA service, and a comprehensive chart is available here.

Fare Increase Proposals

New York City Subway and Local Buses

The MTA has put forward a slate of four alternative proposals for subway and local bus fares, each of which is projected to increase revenue by the same aggregate amount. The proposals, labeled 1A, 1B, 2A and 2B, differ in the way they treat the base fare, the time-based unlimited-ride MetroCards, and the MetroCard bonus discount of 7% that customers receive for putting at least $10 on a pay-per-ride card. The current base fare is $2.25, or effectively $2.10 with the bonus discount. The current cost for a 30-day unlimited card is $104; a 7-day card costs $29.

Under Proposal 1, the base fare would rise to $2.50. Under proposal 1A, the bonus discount would remain unchanged, effectively providing a per-trip fare of $2.34. Under this proposal, the 30-day unlimited MetroCard would rise to $112 and the 7-day would rise to $30. Under proposal 1B, the bonus discount would be eliminated but the increases to time-based cards would be lower. The 30-day would rise to $109 and the 7-day would remain unchanged.

Under Proposal 2, the base fare would remain unchanged. Under Proposal 2A, the bonus discount would be reduced to 5%, effectively increasing the per-trip fare to $2.14. Under this proposal, the 30-day unlimited MetroCard would rise to $125 and the 7-day would rise to $34. Under Proposal 2B, the bonus discount would be eliminated, the 30-day card would rise to $119, and the 7-day would rise to $32.

This table summarizes the changes.

Fare Type

Current

Proposal 1

Proposal 2

A

B

A

B

Base MetroCard Fare
& Local Bus Cash Fare

$2.25

$2.50

$2.25

Single Ride Ticket (Subway)

$2.50

$2.75

$2.50

Bonus Value with Purchase
of $10 or More

7%

7%

none

5%

none

Base Fare w/Bonus Discount

$2.10

$2.34

$2.50

$2.14

$2.25

30-Day Unlimited Pass Cost

$104

$112

$109

$125

$119

30-Day Unlimited Pass Break Even Point (trips)

50

48

44

59

53

7-Day Unlimited Pass Cost

$29

$30

$29

$34

$32

7-Day Unlimited Pass Break Even Point (trips)

14

13

12

16

15

Under all proposals, the $1 surcharge for purchasing a new MetroCard, designed to encourage New Yorkers to refill their existing cards and thereby reduce litter and MetroCard production costs, would be implemented.

Express Buses

The base express bus fare is currently $5.50 (effectively $5.14 with the MetroCard bonus discount), and a 7-day unlimited-ride Express Bus Plus MetroCard valid on express buses, subways and local buses is $50.

Under Proposal 1, the base fare would rise to $6.00. Under Proposal 1A the effective per-trip cost of an express bus ride would rise 47¢ to $5.61 with the unchanged MetroCard bonus discount, and the 7-day Express Bus Plus MetroCard would rise to $55. Under Proposal 1B, the bonus discount is eliminated and the effective per-trip cost would rise 86¢ to be the same as the base fare of $6.00. Under this proposal, the 7-day pass would rise to $52.

Under Proposal 2, the base fare would remain unchanged. Under Proposal 2A, the effective per-trip cost of an express bus ride would rise 10¢ to $5.24, and the 7-day pass would rise to $57. Under Proposal 2B, which eliminates the bonus discount, the effective per-trip cost would rise 36¢ to $5.50, while the 7-day pass would rise to $55.

This table summarizes the changes.

Fare Type

Current

Proposal 1

Proposal 2

A

B

A

B

Base Express Bus Fare
MetroCard or Cash

$5.50

$6.00

$5.50

Bonus Value with purchase
of $10 or more

7%

7%

none

5%

none

Express Bus Fare
w/Bonus Discount

$5.14

$5.61

$6.00

$5.24

$5.50

7-Day Express Bus Plus MetroCard

$50

$55

$52

$57

$55

Break Even Point (trips)

10

10

9

11

10

Access-A-Ride

The per-trip Access-A-Ride fare would remain the same as the base fare on subways and local buses. Under Proposal 1, it would rise to $2.50. Under Proposal 2, it would remain unchanged from the current fare of $2.25.

Public Review Process

The MTA's public review process will enable MTA Board members to receive testimony delivered at eight public hearings, written statements accepted via email and regular mail. And for the first time ever, MTA Board members will also receive transcripts created by testimony submitted via videotapes recorded by the public at MTA facilities.

The eight public hearings will be held between November 7 and 15 throughout the MTA's service territory. There will be one in each of the five boroughs, and one each on Long Island and in the northern suburbs east and west of the Hudson River. The hearings will be held at fully ADA-accessible locations starting at 5 p.m., and will last until 9 p.m., or as long as there are registered speakers who have not yet spoken, whichever is later. Registration to speak will be open between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. at each hearing, or members of the public can register in advance by calling (718) 521-3333 between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. To enable all members of the public to testify, the MTA asks that all remarks be kept to three minutes or less.

The dates and locations of the hearings are as follows.

Wednesday, November 7

  • Brooklyn -; Brooklyn Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge, 333 Adams Street, Brooklyn, NY
  • Long Island -; Farmingdale State College, Roosevelt Hall, Little Theater, 2350 Broadhollow Road, Farmingdale, NY

Tuesday, November 13

  • The Bronx -; Hostos Community College, Center for the Arts and Culture, 450 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY
  • Manhattan -; Baruch College Performing Arts Center, Mason Hall, 17 Lexington Avenue at 23rd Street, New York, NY

Wednesday, November 14

  • Orange County -; Hilton Garden Inn Newburgh/Stewart Airport, Vanderbilt/Astor Rooms, 15 Crossroads Court, Newburgh, NY
  • Staten Island -; College of Staten Island, Center for the Arts, Springer Concert Hall, 2800 Victory Boulevard, Staten Island, NY

Thursday, November 15

  • Queens -; Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel, 135-20 39th Avenue, Flushing, NY
  • Westchester County -; Yonkers Public Library, Riverfront Library Auditorium, One Larkin Center, Yonkers, NY

Members of the public who wish to record a videotaped comment can visit the following MTA facilities at the listed times. All comments will be transcribed and made part of the permanent record of these hearings. Please note there is a 3-minute time limit for each individual's videotaped session, and there will be no question-and-answer period.

  • Thursday, November 8 -; 9 a.m. to noon
    MTA New York City Transit Headquarters, 3 Stone Street, New York, NY
  • Tuesday, November 13 -; 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.
    LIRR Hicksville Station
  • Tuesday, November 13 -; 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    Metro-North Poughkeepsie Station, Pedestrian Overpass
  • Wednesday, November 14 -; 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.
    LIRR Ronkonkoma Station

Members of the public are also encouraged to submit written comments via to the MTA's website, or register to speak at a public hearing by calling (718) 521-3333 between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. MTA Board Members will review transcripts of all public hearings and submitted videos, as well as copies of all written comments submitted via the web.

Those who wish to submit a comment via letter are asked to send it to:

MTA Government Affairs

347 Madison Avenue, 5th Floor

New York, NY 10017