$109 monthly MetroCard: What could happen as MTA fare hike arrives in March, 2013

Jason B. Nicholas/Metro

Are you ready for what the new fare hike could look like?

A 30-day unlimited MetroCard could rise to about $109, according to a report Monday in the New York Daily News. A seven-day unlimited MetroCard would rise from $29 now to about $30.

But that’s actually the smallest of the increases.

Subway and bus riders who would feel the biggest pain are the ones who buy a pay-per-ride MetroCard. Under the fare hike, riders may lose the seven percent discount when they put $10 on that card. If that discount is taken away, it could cost subway riders more than $200 extra a year to ride the rails, according to the Straphangers Campaign, a riders’ advocacy group.

The base fare for a subway or bus rider would also rise a quarter, up from $2.25 now to $2.50, according to the report.

As part of the planned MTA fare hike, Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North fares are also scheduled to increase, as are some bridge and tunnel tolls.

The MTA would not confirm any of the projected fare increases, but said they would be unveiling fare hike proposals either later this month or in October.

As the MTA did for the 2009 fare hike, they will also hold a series of public hearings in mid-November, and subway and bus riders are encouraged to attend and voice their complaints against the fare increase.

The agreed-upon fare hike would go into effect in March of 2013, according to the MTA.

The MTA says a fare hike is necessary to bring in approximately $382 million to balance their budget.

What could be coming down the track:

- Upping the base fare from $2.25 to $2.50
- Eliminating the seven percent bonus for those who buy $10 or more on a MetroCard
- Raising the two types of unlimited-ride MetroCards — weekly and monthly — by five percent
- A 7-day card would go from $29 to $30
- A 30-day card would go from $104 to $109

Who loses most?

“The biggest losers would be those buying discounted (seven percent off) pay-per-ride MetroCards,” Gene Russianoff, head attorney for the Straphangers Campaign, said yesterday. “Their fare would go from $2.10-a-ride to $2.50-a-ride.”

Overall, their commuting costs would rise by $4.00 a work week or $208 a year, he said.

The Straphangers Campaign noted that New York City transit riders pay the highest percentage in the country — 54 percent — of the costs of operating our transit system.  The national average for big city systems is 37 percent, according to Russianoff.


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