Tuesday, December 23, 2008

$3 NYC Subway Fare Possible

A "worst case scenario" budget released by New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority would see the full fare for a subway ride climb to $3, a 50% increase over the current fare. Previous reports had pegged proposed MTA fare hikes, which the agency says it needs to close a $1.2 billion budget gap, around 23 percent. Thus the pain to metropolitan area commuters could be worse than originally feared.

Under the plan, a monthly pass for unlimited subway and bus rides would jump from $81 to $104 a month and full-fare one-way tolls for automobiles on MTA bridges and tunnels would go from $5 to $7. Long Island Rail Road customers face a 29 percent fare hike, and the Long Island Bus fare could rise from $2 to $3.50.

MTA spokesman Jeremy Soffin said the notice presents "a range of possible changes to allow for flexibility in reaching the 23-percent increase in revenue." He added that the MTA supports a plan to keep fare hikes around eight percent by instituting a payroll tax and adding tolls on bridges across the East and Harlem Rivers that are now free. However, that would require action by the state legislature when it reconvenes in January. The final rates won't be determined until Spring.

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