MTA chairman questions discounts on MetroCard fares

Photo by Philip Newman
By Philip Newman

MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota now suggests it might be time to eliminate or reduce the discount on pay-per-ride MetroCards.

Because of the 7 percent discount on multiple ride fares, the basic cost of the standard $2.25 fare ends up with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority actually collecting $1.63, Lhota said.

“Do we need a discount that deep?” Lhota asked at a breakfast sponsored by Crain’s New York Business Sept. 12.

“I think we need to have a really big public discussion about the fare price and the discounting that goes on,” Lhota said.

Even if the discount were eliminated, the MTA’s serious money problem would not go away, but it would greatly help,” Lhota said.

It is all part of the MTA’s deliberations over the coming fare hike of at least 7.5 percent next year for riding buses, subways and commuter trains and for tolls on tunnels and bridges.

Public hearings on the fare hikes will be held in all five boroughs in November, and the MTA’s final vote on the cost of commuting will be taken in December. Fares will go up in March.

Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at timesledgernews@cnglocal.com or phone at 718-260-4536.

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