By Philip Newman
A State Supreme Court judge Wednesday ordered the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to roll back the 50-cent subway and bus fare increase as well as hikes on the two commuter railroads within two weeks.
The transit watchdog agency Straphangers Campaign had sued to void the fare increases on the grounds that transit riders did not get full financial information from the MTA during public hearings.
Subway and bus fares rose to $2 from $1.50 May 4. Fares on the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North had gone up May 1.
Both city and state comptrollers had accused the MTA of misleading the public on the agency's finances. State Comptroller Alan Hevesi, who is from Forest Hills, said the MTA hid $500 million to justify the need for an immediate fare hike and kept two sets of books. The MTA denied it.
The MTA could appeal the decision, which State Supreme Court Justice Louis York handed down in Manhattan late Wednesday afternoon.