The MTA announced four incrementally different plans today to raise fares beginning next year, all of which have the same bottom line: Get ready to pay more. Hikes to the New York City bus and subway rates are expected to bring in about $230 million in additional revenue no matter which way they decide to go about it, with tolls and commuter rail tickets going up as well. We would say pick your poison, but the MTA will ultimately do that for you after listening patiently to everyone's preferences.
The Times has a rundown of the basic options:
1) The base fare remains at $2.25. The cost of a 30-day card rises to $125, up from $104, and a weekly card costs $34, up from $29. In addition, the 7 percent bonus on pay-per-ride MetroCards — which gives a rider an extra $1.40 with each $20 placed on the card — is reduced to 5 percent. The express bus fare remains at $5.50.
2) The base fare remains at $2.25. The cost of a 30-day card rises to $119. The cost of a weekly card rises to $32. The bonus on pay-per-ride cards is eliminated altogether. The express bus fare remains $5.50.
3) The base fare rises to $2.50. The cost of a 30-day card rises to $109, but the cost of a weekly card remains $29. The bonus is eliminated. The express bus fare rises to $6.
4) The base fare rises to $2.50. The cost of a 30-day card rises to $112, and the cost of a weekly card rises to $30. The pay-per-ride bonus is kept intact. The express bus fare rises to $6.
The prices will be changing in March, with twelve public hearings planned for next month at which locals can voice their quibbles and then be asked politely to sit down. For those who can't make the meetings, the MTA is also setting up public cameras for commuters to express their individuals concerns in what will surely be a calm, practical, and constructive manner.