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MTA mulls over MetroCard fee

Going to the MetroCard machine could soon become more depressing, with the MTA mulling over fare increase schemes that include tacking a $1 fee on the cards, transit sources said.

Dealing with a deficit of more than $800 million, officials are looking to charge the fee when riders buy a new card instead of refilling old ones. The cards cost the cash-strapped agency just 8 cents to print.

“The idea is [the fee] wouldn’t be noticed much by riders,” one transit source said.

MTA brass plans to discuss the fee with agency board members later this week.

“I don’t like it at all. I don’t want to nickel and dime people,” said Mitchell Pally, a MTA board member.

Other possible plans include a cap on the number of trips allowed on unlimited ride cards, and the elimination of off-peak fares on commuter rail lines, according to published reports.

MTA officials, though, are still adamant against hiking the fares before January.
An MTA spokesman declined to comment on the proposals, saying that officials are still determining the amount of the fare increase that will be go before the board in the last week of July.

In other MTA news, attempts to eek out some savings through negotiations with the main transit union are not going well, with talks all but breaking down, transit sources said.

“It’s ugly,” one union source said.

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