MTA cuts could double the fare for some

November 20, 2008 5:49:38 AM PST
The news at the MTA has gone from bad to worse. Even the agency's director doesn't even want to talk about it.

"We'll have more to talk about tomorrow," Lee Sander said.

The MTA board on Thursday morning will begin the painful process of how to balance its books.

We already know from sources that the agency's considering a 23 percent hike, meaning the base fare could go to about $2.50 a ride. Even $3.00 is a possibility.

Express bus fares would go up even more.

Also the Daily News is reporting access-a-ride prices would double.

"How can people survive if you're on Medicaid and Food Stamps and you can't ride your bicycle everywhere," Zenboia Conkerite said.

"Times are hard for everybody. Three dollars? That's kind of ridiculous," Anthony Lobban said.

Commuters today seemed almost resigned to accepting cutbacks and a fare hike, but Arlene Weston says it's time to fight back. She owns two restaurants and says her workers can't afford another hit.

"They have to stop this. I mean, it's too much for us already. The economy is hurting. We're all hurting. Our businesses are failing. I mean everyone else is being bailed out. We need to be bailed out," Weston said.

At the renaming ceremony for the RFK Bridge, formerly the Triborough, we talked with Governor Paterson. He has heard all about cost-cutting moves like eliminating subway lines, the possibility of layoffs (more than a thousand workers), and now this huge fare hike.

We asked Paterson if there's any chance we might catch a break? He did not sound optimistic.

"We're going to look at it, but we have a lot of difficult choices we're going to have to make as New Yorkers in the next few years," he said.

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