Without another option to bring in revenue to the cash-strapped Metropolitan Transportation Authority, straphangers will most likely have to pay higher fares next year. The fare hike would be the sixth since 2009 when the state legislature approved a financial rescue plan that included increasing fares every other year. While funding for the financially-troubled authority continues to be negotiated among lawmakers before the state’s budget deadline next month, MTA Chairman Joe Lhota told the Daily News he did not see a scenario where the fares could remain the same.
The fare hike options in 2017 via MTA
The exact percentage of increase in fares remains unclear as of now. Increases are expected on all subway, bus and commuter rail fares. Last year, the MTA voted not to increase per-ride costs, but instead upped the price of weekly and monthly MetroCard prices, from $31 to $32 per week and from $116.50 to $121 per month.
MTA board members do not support another fare and toll hike, especially because of the system’s poor service. One board member, Mitchell Pally, told amNY: “In these times of difficulties on the system…to ask our riders to pay more now, in my opinion, would be a grievous mistake. It’s March. We have time ’til December to solve that problem in some way — hopefully with our funding partners.”
A congestion pricing plan, advocated by Governor Andrew Cuomo, is an option currently being debated in Albany that could raise revenue quickly for the MTA. While the authority’s board considered approving a resolution to call for a congestion pricing plan, it never came to a vote.