The cost of metro, bus and commuter train rides will rise Sunday for the first time in four years.
During the pandemic, the MTA has paused its regular biennial rate hike schedule. But the agency says budget constraints mean the delay period has expired.
Single metro or bus rides will go up by 15 cents, from $2.75 to $2.90, an increase of 5%.
For riders who use a MetroCard and buy an unlimited seven-day or 30-day pass, the overall costs will also increase. The 30-day pass will increase from $127 to $132, and the seven-day unlimited pass will increase by $1 to $34.
Passenger rail fares will rise by about 4%.
Governor Kathy Hochul and the MTA state legislature threw a lifeline this year by increasing the payroll transfer tax on New York City businesses and approving a one-time $300 million payment. It all goes to fund its operating budget, which continues to suffer from low pandemic-era ridership.
However, riders are not happy with the price hike, especially at a time when everything seems to be going up in price, yet the incomes of many remain steady.
“My salary. Yeah, it’s not going up, believe me,” said Leila McGushin, a commuter from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. “Sure, we’re not happy.”
“It’s terrible, man. It keeps going up,” said 19-year-old Queens resident Chris Mathew. “I will keep hitting or jumping [the turnstile]. “
Santana, a 70-year-old Crown Heights resident who uses only his last name, said he didn’t mind paying the fare, but noted that the MTA also complains it loses $700 million a year due to fare evasion. He said if the MTA lowered it first, he might be okay with raising the fare.
He said, “It only bothers me because their excuse for that is fare evasion.”
The MTA reports that it loses $315 million annually on buses, $285 million on subways, $46 million on tolls on bridges and tunnels, and $44 million on the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North.
However, not everyone is against the increase.
“I think it’s probably a good idea,” said Damon Boyd, 32, of Brownsville. “As long as the trains are running smoothly, there shouldn’t be a problem with that.”
“The increase in fares and fees is a continuation of the MTA’s practice that began in 2009 whereby small, predictable adjustments to fares and fees are made on a biennial basis,” the MTA wrote in announcing the fare increase.
The agency expects the price increase to bring in $117 million this year and plans another 4% increase in 2025 and another in 2027.
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