Start saving your quarters; the MTA all but definitively announced at its board meeting yesterday that it will raise subway and bus fares by 2017 in an effort to raise more than $300 million annually. This is part of their four-year financial plan that includes fare and toll hikes every two years to
Jamison Dague of the nonprofit Citizens Budget Commission told the Daily News that if past increases are any indication, the MTA will likely raise fares from $2.75 to $3, a four percent increase that would bring in roughly $308 million through 2020. And if another increase was implemented in 2019, the cash-strapped agency would pull in an additional $594 million over two years.
This is the agency’s fifth fare hike since 2009. The last increase came just this past March, when rides went up from $2.50 to $2.75. And a month later, in April, top transit officials warned that if the MTA wasn’t able to bridge its $15 billion budget gap, fares could’ve been raised to $3.15. But this was before the state and city finally reached an agreement to keep the MTA’s $26.1 billion, five-year capital plan on track, which will partly fund Governor Cuomo’s recently unveiled high-tech subway cars and stations.
According to the Daily News, “In 2015, the MTA pulled in $7.7 billion in fare and toll revenue, which covers half of what it costs the MTA to run its system.” And this past year saw a record-breaking annual ridership of 1.7 billion, the highest since 1948.
The MTA noted that the hikes are part of a budget projection and could change when the numbers are reevaluated in November. A final vote is planned for December.