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Riders still confused about MTA fare changes

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Since many New Yorkers don’t seem to know, here’s an announcement: The MTA is raising most of its fares starting Dec. 30.

Fare hikes were approved months ago, but some riders are still clueless or misinformed about the changes.

Chris Farber, 31, of Washington Heights, said he thought a 30-day pass would soon cost $99 with a capped number of rides, a proposal the MTA rejected.

He didn’t know that his pass will stay unlimited but go up to $104 starting Dec. 30.“I haven’t heard much about it, which is surprising because I read the MTA announcements” in the stations, he said.

He added that when he learned about the initial increase talks, he “didn’t hear about it from the MTA,” but “read about it from amNewYork.”

Indiana Santana, 25, also of Washington Heights, said she just learned about the new fares today from a bus poster, but didn’t know the 14-day unlimited pass she sometimes uses would be eliminated.

Unlike in the past when the MTA paid for ads in the media to publicize hikes, it’s now relying on signs in stations and buses, brochures, news reports, and its website.

The agency’s money woes have prevented them from paying for ads this time, spokesman Kevin Ortiz said.

The message may not be reaching some riders, said William Henderson, of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA.

For example, many people don’t know the MTA has set expiration dates on MetroCards bought under the current fare system, he said. So you can’t hoard them to beat the hike.

Gene Russianoff of Straphangers Campaign said the MTA “has done an OK job” of publicizing the changes considering its limited budget, but said it could do a better job on its website.

Henderson said because the base fare will stay at $2.25 (unless you are buying a single-ride card), the monthly and weekly pass increases haven't registered with some riders yet.

"It never really hits until the very end," he said. "They worry about it the last week in December."

 


Grace period
• If you buy a cards before Dec. 30, you must activate them by Jan. 10.
• Effective Dec. 30 the 1-Day and 14-Day Unlimited Ride MetroCards will be
discontinued. Those bought before Dec. 30 must be also activated by Jan. 10.

(source: MTA)
 

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