MTA backs plan to raise subway and bus fare to $3 come March

January 20, 2017

At a board meeting over the summer, the MTA began discussions about increasing subway and bus fare to $3 by 2017 “in an effort to raise more than $300 million annually,” as 6sqft reported at the time. The Daily News has now learned that the agency will officially recommend the four-percent increase at their board meeting next week. Though they’ll be passing on another option that would’ve kept fares at $2.75, the hike will increase the bonuses that come with re-loading one’s MetroCard from 11 to 16 percent, “an extra 96 cents for every $6 purchase.”

Since 2005, fares have increased a whopping 50 percent, from $2 to $3. The current proposal will be the MTA’s fifth fare hike since 2009; the most recent was in March 2016, when rides when from $2.50 to $2.75. But the Daily News explains that when you factor in the bonuses, the $3 plan is actually the smallest increase in the past eight years.

The alternate plan would have kept fares at $2.75, but cut the round-trip bonuses by five percent, adding only 28 cents for every $5.50 purchase. Sources said the MTA went with the alternative because it was the best option for those who swipe their MetroCards the most. It will also bring in about $308 million for the agency through 2020. And under their current plan that issues increases every two years, another hike would occur in 2019.

But for low-income New Yorkers, an extra 25 cents per ride may make a significant difference. Fighters for the Fair Fare recently proposed half-price fares for the 800,000 persons who would be eligible. They estimate that it would save each person $700 a year, and have called on Mayor de Blasio to set aside $200 million in his budget to cover the reduction.

If approved at next week’s January 25th meeting, the hike will go into effect on March 19th. Single rides will jump from $3 to $3.25; weekly MetroCards from $31 to $32; and monthly from $116.50 to $121.

[Via NYDN]


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