Transit time bomb: MTA fare hikes coming

47th 50th Rockafeller Center F train

The MTA is taking New Yorkers for a ride — again.

The transit authority released its preliminary budget for the next four years on Tuesday, and in it the MTA is mulling two fare hikes.

As previously announced, the authority wants to increase fares by 7.5 percent in 2013 and plans to do so again in 2015. At the same time, the authority wants to borrow $7 billion from the state and federal government.

Fleeing MTA chair Jay Walder, who is leaving in October for a high-paid job running a transit system in Hong Kong, said the budget has a “fragile stability.” But board member Andrew Saul called the MTA’s debt “a ticking time bomb.”

“We need to watch this debt time bomb because it’s going to become a major problem in the future,” warned Saul. “The job’s not finished.”

Saul pointed out that the projected preliminary plans would raise the MTA’s debt to $31 billion.
On top of loans and fare hikes, the MTA also wants to deny its unionized workers raises for three years in a row.

To save the ailing system, Chief Financial Officer Robert Foran suggested that the city chip in more for some capital projects, such as the Second Avenue subway line.

Follow Emily Anne Epstein on Twitter @EmilyatMetro


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