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NYC straphangers on track to pay more for monthly pass


Metrocard Credit: handout

The Big Apple is about to be No. 1 in another category — subway fares.

New Yorkers will pay more for their monthly MetroCards than residents in every other major U.S. city if the MTA passes its fare hike proposal tomorrow, an amNewYork analysis has found.

Besides a 17 percent hike on monthly passes, raising the charge from $89 to $104, the board will also likely increase weekly cards 7 percent, from $27 to $29.

The $2.25 base fare will stay the same, and the MTA has rejected raising the monthly card by a lesser amount, while capping the number of rides.

“I would be very surprised if we did anything different” than approve the unlimited proposal, said MTA Board Member Mitch Pally.

Despite the rancor over the fare hike — which pushes New York ahead of Miami’s $100 card — the rate is comparable to increases in other big U.S. cities.

Here’s some consolation for riders frustrated by the triple-digit card: New York still boasts the most comprehensive transit system in the country, with 24 subway lines — most running 24 hours a day.

Transit agencies nationwide have had to fill budget gaps by slashing service and increasing fares.

Agencies know they can’t afford to overburden commuters to the point that they lose significant ridership, said David Goldberg, spokesman for Transportation for America, which has been tracking transit cuts nationwide.

“Ultimately, New Yorkers won’t take (fare increases) passively as it gets to be too painful,” Goldberg said.

New Yorkers who use monthly passes say they can tolerate $104, but no more than that.

“Every person who makes a decision for the MTA should be legally required to use public transportation and experience the stress that they’ve put on riders,” said straphanger Jasmine Amii Harrison, 27, of Brooklyn.

* * *

New Yorkers are poised to pay the highest in the nation for a monthly transit pass. The following cities have all raised their monthly rates in the last two years.

City                  Previous monthly  Current monthly    % change
Miami                $75                         $100                       33
Chicago            $75                         $86                         15
Philadelphia      $78                        $83                          6
Los Angeles      $62                        $75                          21
Atlanta               $60                        $68                         13

New York           $89 (current)        $104 (proposed)  17


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