NEW YORK — In a 12-2 vote on Thursday, the Metropolitan Transit Authority approved a fare increase for New York City subways and buses, the third fare hike in as many years.
Effective December 30, the unlimited monthly pass will rise from $89 to $104, an increase of 17 percent. The 7-day unlimited pass will increase from $27 to $29, a 7 percent increase, and single ride tickets will jump two pence to $2.50.
The sliding scale increases are greatest for monthly pass purchasers, who are statistically more affluent than weekly pass users. Roughly one-third of MTA riders purchase monthly passes.
The fare increases follow a series of service cuts over the summer, causing residents to question why the MTA’s best customers will soon pay more for fewer transport options.
“They say that the money’s going into the MTA, but where is it really going?” questioned Nadia Chaudhury, 25, a Queens Village resident who works in Midtown. “They’re firing people, cutting subways and bus lines—hell, they’ve even stopped cleaning the turnstiles so you’ll have to swipe more because of card errors. They’re embarking on ridiculous projects like the Second Avenue subway line and the 7-train extension even though they claim there’s no money.”
Chaudhury uses the bus and subway in her daily commute and says she will continue to purchase a monthly pass. “But I hate my reliance on the MTA,” she concludes.
Doreen M. Frasca, a Paterson-appointed MTA board member, lamented the decision but says the lack of state government funding leaves no other option. “Being on this board really made me stop believing in fairy tales,” Frasca told the New York Times.
The new fare structure is expected to create a 7.5 percent increase in MTA revenue.
Demond Green, 30, an actor who lives in Midtown, chooses not to purchase an unlimited pass but adds money to a regular Metrocard as needed. “I’ve certainly begun walking a lot more than usual just to save a bit more change after the last fare hike,” Green said. “I suppose that will only increase.”
Michael Mitchell, 25, a medical student and monthly pass user who commutes from the Upper West Side to Central Harlem, says the hike is not as great as had been rumored. “I will just never EVER use a cab now,” he wrote in an e-mail.