MTA releases 2013 fare hike proposal, prices rise across the board
The MTA has revealed its 2013 fare hike proposal, and straphangers are bracing for the pain.
MTA chief Joe Lhota submitted his fare hike recommendations to the board Thursday, calling them "an essential part of the MTA's financial plan." Price increases will go across all card options.
The monthly unlimited MetroCard would rise to $112, an $8 increase. Weekly cards would rise a dollar to $30, and the base fare for a single ride would increase by a quarter to $2.50. The pay-per-ride bonus would drop to 5% from 7%.
The board will vote on the proposal Dec. 19, and if it is approved as expected, it is set to go into effect March 1.
Walter Bravo, 26, of the Upper West Side, complained that there are too many fare hikes far too often.
"Every year, it seems like it keeps going up and up," he said. "For the price it's worth the service but it's too much, too fast."
Annie Arias, 25, of the Bronx, said the MTA is hiking up prices too far.
"The raise is too much. I use a monthly card and it costs me a lot," she said. "I don't think I'll cut back on my budget, but I will have to take a look at those [MetroCard] prices."
Still, some riders were more understanding.
"I understand why they have to raise it," said Laura Cobb, 23, of midtown. "It's not that much, but I have expenses, too. Everyone has bills."
Dominik Prince, 33, of the West Village, agreed.
"That's not too bad," he said. "With the subways you can get a train from the financial district and go all the way to the Bronx quickly. If they raised it to $3 then I would have a problem."
The goal of the hike, which includes increases on subways, buses and MTA bridge and tunnel tolls, is to raise $450 million in new revenue each year. Most of the money will go toward increasing employee pension and benefit expenses.
Critics have said it puts too much of the burden of the MTA's financial troubles on consumers, and that the state should step in.
The last fare hike was in 2011, when monthly unlimited MetroCards rose to the current $104 from $89. If the current proposal is approved as expected, it will be the fourth fare hike in five years.
The MTA's fare hike proposal raises prices across the board. Here are the key points:
-- Monthly unlimited ride MetroCard rises to $112 from $104
-- Weekly unlimited ride card rises to $30 from $29
-- Base fare for subways and buses rises to $2.50 from $2.25
-- Single-ride ticket rises to $2.75 from $2.50
-- Pay-per-ride bonus drops to 5% from 7%, but kicks on at $5 instead of $10