MTA proposes another fare hike

If approved, plan will go in effect July 2009
July 23, 2008 4:54:15 PM PDT
Transit fares and bridge tolls could be headed up again in New York City. But you'll have to wait to learn how painful the pinch could be for your particular type of commute. Few specifics were offered Wednesday as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority proposed fare hikes to deal with rising fuel costs and declining real estate revenues.

If the plan is approved in December, commuters could be hit with an 8 percent increase next July and another 5 percent in January of 2011. That would come on top of an increase that just went through in March.

The MTA wouldn't say whether the base subway and bus fare of $2 might go up to $2.25.

The MTA says it needs to close a budget gap of nearly $900-million.

According to reports on the MTA's new budget plan, the agency wants to boost revenue on fares and tolls by 8 percent.

The last increase hit riders and drivers this past March, and another wasn't expected until early 2010. If the MTA board approves the new plan, the hike would go into effect next July.

The proposal also calls for an extra $300-million from the city and state.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he would not support a fare increase unless the MTA can demonstrate it's working to tighten its own belt. "Anybody that tells you they've got a $10 billion budget and they can't find a way to cut 5 percent, that's just poor management," said Bloomberg.

Looking further ahead, the budget focuses on a commission created by Governor Paterson to recommend long term solutions for the MTA's money problems.

That report is due in November.

All this comes as a new report by the MTA found that subway delays are up 24 percent since last year.

The MTA says delays are caused by track work, customers holding doors, sick passengers, and signal trouble.

The agency says it plans to collect more detailed data to investigate why delays are getting worse.

STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Kemberly Richardson
WEB PRODUCED BY: Lakisha Bostick