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Tips for ‘beating’ MTA’s fare hike

It’s coming, commuters. On midnight on Thursday, Dec. 30, the dreaded MTA fare hike will go into effect.

It’s coming, commuters. On midnight on Thursday, Dec. 30, the dreaded MTA fare hike will go into effect.

How can you stock up on cheaper MetroCards before that date? There are two ways.

Buy a seven-day or a 30-day unlimited MetroCard at its current price ($27 and $89). You have until Jan. 10 to swipe it the first time to activate it, and it’s good for seven or 30 days after that.
Stock up on Pay-Per-Ride MetroCards. Right now, it’s only $8 to get a discount of 15 percent. But after Dec. 30, you’ll have to put in $10 to get a bonus that shrinks to a mere 7 percent.

But the current, cheaper MetroCards will still be valid all next year, an MTA spokesman confirmed. The cards have a two-year expiration date. Once the money is on the cards, it’s on for good. The maximum a pay-per-ride card can hold is $163.83.

The MTA said it was forced to raise fares and cut service this year after a $900 million budget gap due to low tax revenues and cuts from the state. The combined fare and toll increases brings a 7.5 percent revenue increase to the MTA’s coffers.

The MTA is planning on raising fares again in 2013.

Drivers hit as well

Tolls on the MTA’s seven bridges and two tunnels will increase at 2 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 30. Tolls will rise to $6.50 at most crossings for drivers paying in cash and increasing 23 cents to $4.80 at most crossings for E-ZPass drivers.

 
 
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