Dec. Public Meetings To Consider Proposals
The long-rumored MTA fare and toll hike of 2015 appears to be one step closer to becoming a reality.
In a formal announcement on Monday, Nov. 17, the MTA stated it will increase fares and tolls by four percent come March 2015. Several proposals on how it will be implemented were presented for consideration, and the MTA will formally adopt a plan in January.
“The MTA is keeping its promise to ensure fare and toll increases are as low as possible, and these options are designed to minimize their impact on our customers,” MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas W. Prendergast said in a press release. “We have cut more than $1 billion from our ongoing expenses, but a modest fare and toll increase is necessary to balance our budget against the increased costs of providing the bus, subway, railroad and paratransit service that is the backbone of the region’s mobility and economic growth.”
Regardless of the two fare increase proposals for MTA New York City Transit subway and bus lines, all Unlimited MetroCard users will likely pay more come January. Prices for 30-day cards will rise by $4.50, from $112 to $116.50, while the 7-day card will go up by a buck, from $30 to $31.
One fare proposal would increase the MTA base fare by 25 cents, to $2.75; express bus fares would increase from $6 to $6.50. Customers purchasing pay-perride MetroCards would get an 11 percent bonus when putting $5.50 or more on their cards, an increase from the current 5 percent.
The other plan would leave the base fare unchanged at $2.50 (express bus fare would stay at $6), but the 5 percent pay-perride bonus would be eliminated.
As for the Long Island Rail Road, in which fares are based on the distance traveled, City Ticket prices would increase from $4 to $4.25. This fare is for all LIRR travel within the city’s limits. Monthly and weekly fares on other parts of the LIRR system would increase by less than 4.25 percent.
Drivers will also pay more to cross the MTA Bridges and Tunnels, which include the Cross Bay Veterans, Gil Hodges Memorial, Whitestone, Throgs Neck and Robert F. Kennedy bridges and the Queens-Midtown Tunnel. Passenger car tolls will rise by four percent for all EZPass holders, but the base toll for cars paying cash may rise from $7.50 to $8 (for the Cross Bay and Gil Hodges bridges, from $3.75 to $4). Truck tolls may increase from between four and 12 percent.
Residents will get the chance to speak out about the fare and toll increases at a series of public hearings the MTA will hold next month. The Queens hearing will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 3, at 6 p.m. at the Milton G. Bassin Performing Arts Center at York College, Main Stage Theater, located at 94-20 Guy R. Brewer Blvd. in Jamaica.
The Brooklyn hearing takes place on Thursday, Dec. 11, at 6 p.m. at the Walt Whitman Theater at Brooklyn College, located at 2900 Campus Rd. (near the corner of Nostrand Avenue and Avenue H) in Midwood.
For more information, visit www.mta.info.