Fare hike silver linings

(Credit: Urbanite)

By Marlene Naanes

Stop the whining.

Straphangers yesterday said that even though subway and bus fares are set to go up from $2 to $2.25 this Sunday, the city’s transit system is still the best bargain around.

“It’s an amazing, cheap and convenient way to get around,” Maria Fitz, 44, of Greenpoint. “It’s worth an extra quarter a ride.”

With that rosy outlook in mind, amNewYork compiled five reasons why the fare hike really isn’t that bad:1. Day or night, you can get from northern Bronx to southern Queens for $2.25 or less.

In other cities, such as Washington D.C., you pay more the longer the trip. A peak hour fare in D.C. could cost more than $4.

Also, transit systems in other major cities like London and Tokyo, don’t provide 24-hour service.

2. Riders can find a way to save a buck — or several — with MetroCard bonuses and unlimited-ride passes.

“I find the monthly pass, depending on how much traveling I do, to be a really good deal,” said Ellen Lewis, 55, Upper West Side. “Today, I’m going to use it at least four times.”

3. It’s a safe ride.

So far this year, overall crime underground is down almost 10 percent compared to last year, according to transit data. Rapes and murders are down 100 percent.

4. Riders were spared service cuts.

The MTA originally proposed deep service cuts along with the hikes, but state officials found outside funds to soften the blow and keep service as is.

By comparison, St. Louis’ MetroLink riders were not only forced to cough up an extra 25 cents per ride this year, but they also lost service to 2,300 bus stops and a para-transit system for the disabled and elderly.

5. It could have been worse.

Riders were facing a 23-percent increase in fares under the original plan, but now they will only pay 10 percent more. So a monthly MetroCard that would have cost $103 will now only be $89, up from $81.

“I don’t want to pay more money, but if I do, $8 is not too much,” said straphanger Imara Lopez, 29, of East Harlem.

The MTA refused to comment on the story.

Heather Haddon contributed to this story.

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1. Straphangers slow to catch on to coming $2.25 fares

Tags: silver lining , fare hike , mta , transportation

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