A handful of riders officially gave the MTA a piece of their mind on proposed rate hikes Monday night in the Bronx.
“The MTA actually stands for money thrown away,” said William Stanford, 43, who is a serial public hearing attendee who also goes by “‘Mr. X,” said before the hearing.
Antionette Gregg, 27, said she came to the public hearing because she wanted more information on the rate hike. Gregg, who lives in Jersey City, said she has no choice but to take both the MTA and PATH trains to get to work at Bronx Community College.
The hearing was the first of a series ahead of the MTA board’s January fare vote.
Fewer than 10 speakers testified at the Bronx hearing, which was over in 30 minutes.
The board will select one of two proposed fare hikes in January. Both would increase monthly unlimited MetroCards by $4.50 to $116.50, and increase a weekly unlimited card by $1 to $31.
One proposal increases single rides by 25 cents to $2.75, bumps up one-ride tickets to $3, and boosts MetroCard bonuses to 11 percent from 5 percent.
The second proposal keeps single trip fares at $2.50, but gets rid of the bonus.
Transit advocate Louis Bailey said the MTA should improve service to “transit deserts” such as Co-Op City before funding capital projects in Manhattan.
“It’s a regressive way of funding public transportation,” John Raskin, executive director of Rider’s Alliance, said of fare hikes. “The entire city relies on good public transit. They shouldn’t be pushing the cost on those who can least afford it.” About 29 percent of the Bronx residents live below the poverty line — more than double New York’s average, according to the Census Bureau.
Kathryn Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City, said fare increases are necessary to keep a “world class transit system going.”