No matter which way you slice it, subway fares will increase next year. But there is a little flexibility on the question of how much pay-per-ride MetroCards will cost.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority said yesterday that it will increase fares for subway and bus trips by 4 percent for a two-year period, but that it is considering raising the price of a round trip in two different ways. The revenue from both options is essentially the same, the agency said.
The public will be able to weigh in on the MTA’s plans at eight hearings across the region in December, including one at Brooklyn College on December 19th. The MTA Board says it will review public input before a final proposal is selected and voted on by the full board in January. The MTA’s new fares and tolls will take effect on March 19, 2017.
Approximately 40 percent of riders use the pay-per-ride MetroCard (with the added bonus). Single-ride tickets are used for 1 percent of trips, says the MTA. A single-ride MetroCard will be $3 or $3.25, depending on the plan chosen by the MTA.
This is part of the fare and toll proposal the MTA put forward yesterday:
The difference between the two options for pay-per-ride MetroCards is the size of the “bonus” offered for every round trip, or every $5.50 paid.
In Plan A (see the table above), the one-way fare stays at $2.75, with a 5 percent cost-break for each round trip. (The current cost-break is 11 percent.) The cost of each ride drops from $2.75 to $2.62.
In Plan B, the one-way fare jumps to $3, and the cost-break is 16 percent for each round trip. The cost of each ride drops from $3 to $2.59.
The new fares for 7-day ($32) and 30-day ($121) unlimited ride MetroCards are the same in both proposals, increasing by over 3 percent.
The MTA says that its proposed two-year increase is the lowest since 2009. Just over half of the MTA’s $15.6 billion annual operating budget comes from fares and tolls paid by riders and drivers. The agency claims it has achieved nearly $1.8 billion in 2016 annual savings, with more cost cutting on the way.
The MTA has acknowledged that some New Yorkers will no longer use subways or buses as a result of the 4 percent increase, according to the New York Daily News. This begs the question of who will be impacted most by the fare hikes, and how many Brooklynites even have access to other transportation options.
Brooklyn commuters can weigh in on the MTA’s fare increase plans at a hearing on Monday, December 19th at Brooklyn College (Walt Whitman Theater, 2900 Campus Road, near the junction of Nostrand Avenue and Avenue H). Registration to speak starts at 5pm and closes at 9pm. The hearing will begin at 6 pm.