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MTA backs financial plan with two fare and toll hikes in four years

Plan calls for fare and toll hikes in

Plan calls for fare and toll hikes in 2015 and 2017. Credit: Plan calls for fare and toll hikes in 2015 and 2017. (amNY)

The MTA is moving ahead with two planned fare and toll hikes over the next four years as part of a financial plan introduced to the agency’s board Wednesday.

While there’s no figure attached to the size of the increases, the MTA’s plan calls for 7.5% more revenue for each fare and toll increase in 2015 and 2017.
“We need to have regular, predictable fare and toll increases,” MTA Chief Financial Officer Robert Foran told the board.

The MTA plans to pull in $424 million when the first increase kicks in March 2015, and then $516 million in 2016 and $520 million in 2017, the year the second hike takes effect.

The MTA estimates the two increases will bring in almost $1 billion for 2017.
The last hike hit New York in March, when base fares jumped to $2.50, a seven-day pass increased to $30, a 30-day card was jacked up to $112, and a $1 fee was attached to new MetroCards.

Though the MTA is asking more from riders and drivers, Foran said the hikes could be less painful if taxes dedicated to transit and subsidies are higher than expected.

But the MTA budget faces rising “uncontrollable” costs, such as pensions and health care for retirees and the paying down of debt.

“We only have really a couple levers: We can raise fares and tolls, or we can cut costs,” Foran told reporters.

“If we’re cutting costs as much as we can … [then] the fare and toll is the only thing there within our control,” he said.

There has been $800 million in annual savings since the MTA went on a cost-cutting spree in 2010. The goal is to save $1.3 billion by 2017.

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