Ahead of public hearings on fare hikes next month, the MTA has proposed four options for when it raises MetroCard prices in March, the New York Daily News reported.
These changes would garner $232 million in additional revenue, said the paper.
“We have cut discretionary spending to the tune of $700 million and will see a reduction of more than $1 billion by 2014,” said MTA spokesperson Kevin Ortiz. “Unfortunately, we still need to raise fares and tolls to cover our growing non-discretionary costs like retiree benefits, pension and rising fuel costs.”
The MTA would not confirm the proposed options that the Daily News reported, and will publically release them on Monday, October 15, said Ortiz.
The first option would raise the costs of the weekly unlimited MetroCard from $29 to $34 and the monthly from $104 to $125. A straphanger would need to take 16 rides in seven days for the weekly or 56 rides in 30 days for the monthly, before saving money.
Also under this first proposal, MetroCard bonuses would be lowered to five percent. Currently, riders receive a seven percent discount each time they pay $10.
The second option only raises weekly and monthly MetroCards to $32 and $119, but gets rid of all Pay-Per-Ride bonuses.
In September, MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph Lhota publically said that even if the transit agency cuts MetroCard discounts it may still need to hike fares in order to raise the agency’s revenues.
The other two options would increase the base fare to $2.50, but would still lower MetroCard bonuses.
According to the MTA’s 2012 to 2016 financial plan, if it raises fares and tolls again in 2015, as is expected, those increases would be three times the estimated rate of inflation.
Riders will get a chance to sound off about the proposed hikes, which could also affect commuter train prices and bridge and tunnels tolls, when the MTA holds public hearings next month.
In Queens, the hearing will be held on November 15 at 5 p.m. in the ballroom of the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel in Flushing. That month there will also be video conference hearings at the Hicksville and Ronkonkoma LIRR stations, in Lower Manhattan and at the Poughkeepsie Metro-North station.
Wednesday, November 7
Long Island – 5 p.m.
Farmingdale State College
2350 Broadhollow Road
Farmingdale, New York
Brooklyn– 5 p.m.
NY Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge
333 Adams Street
Brooklyn, New York
Manhattan – 5 p.m.
Baruch Performing Arts Center, Mason Hall
17 Lexington Avenue (at 23rd St.)
New York, New York
Bronx – 5 p.m.
Hostos Community College
Center for the Arts & Culture
450 Grand Concourse
Bronx, New York
Newburgh– 5 p.m.
Hilton Garden Inn, Newburgh/Stewart Airport
15 Crossroads Court
Newburgh, New York
Staten Island– 5 p.m
Center for the Arts, Springer Concert Hall
College of Staten Island
2800 Victory Blvd.
Staten Island, New York
Thursday, November 15
Westchester– 5 p.m.
Yonkers Public Library – Riverfront Library
One Larkin Center
Yonkers, New York
Queens– 5 p.m.
Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel
135-20 39th Avenue
Flushing, New York
Video conference hearings:
Thursday, November 8
9 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
2 Broadway (3 Stone St. entrance), bid room suite, Manhattan
Tuesday, November 13
6 a.m.-10 a.m.
Hicksville Long Island Rail Road Station Building
4:00 -8 p.m.
Poughkeepsie Metro-North Station, pedestrian overpass
Wednesday, November 14
Ronkonkoma Long Island Rail Road Station Building