Noooo, MTA Might Increase Subway Fares

two-train-in-harlemThe MTA projects it could raise subway fares 4 percent from Harlem to Hollis by 2017 and a further 4 percent by 2019, according to the agency’s preliminary 2017 budget published Wednesday.

The preliminary budget promises an increase of “no more than 4 percent.” A 4 percent increase on a $2.75 fare would be a $2.86 fare, and about $121, up from $116.50, for a 30-day unlimited pass. Exactly which would happen, or both, has yet to be announced.

The price hike would raise an additional $308 million per year until 2019. If there’s another 4 percent price hike in 2019, like the MTA projects, the transportation agency could pull in an additional $594 million by 2021, the Daily News reported.

Fares were increased last March from $2.50 to $2.75, and 30-day MetroCards were increased from $112 to $116.50. This would be the fifth price hike since 2009. The MTA said it will present specific proposals for price hikes in the fall and hold public hearings for riders’ reactions.

“This is the fair increase that more or less keeps pace with inflation, but no matter what, a fair increase of any kind is going to really hurt low-income people,” said Rebecca Bailin, campaign manager for Riders Alliance, a grassroots organization that fights for affordable public transit. If the governor invested more money into public transit, Bailin said, the MTA wouldn’t have to keep raising fares and put the burden on riders to fund the system.

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