MTA board approves fare hikes

October 7, 2010 3:13:12 PM PDT
The same MTA board that slashed subway service and killed entire bus lines is now raising fares again. The MTA on Thursday approved its fourth fare hike in the last five years.

After a dozen public speakers blasted them for being arrogant and out-of-touch with ordinary New Yorkers, the MTA board voted 12-2 in favor of the fare hike.

One man took the podium before the vote and declared, "You are all a bunch of rich scumbags!"

The increase will raise virtually every fare the MTA charges, from the subways and buses to the suburban commuter rail lines. The cost of a single ride ticket will rise from $2.25 to $2.50, though the $2.25 one-way subway and bus fare will stay at $2.25.

Monthly Metrocards will rise from $89 to $104, and weekly Metrocards will rise from $27 to to $29.

Discounts for multiple rides will be cut from 15 percent to 7 percent.

Fare increases on the commuter lines, Metro-North and the Long Island Rail Road, will vary depending on the commuting distance from Manhattan.

All increases are expected to take effect on December 30.

An even bigger hit looms ahead for drivers who rely on the MTA's nine bridges and tunnels. Cash-paying customers could see tolls go up anywhere from 27 to 33 percent. The size of the hike will depend on the crossing. The only way to duck that massive increase is to use EZ Pass. Drivers who use the white tags won't pay any increase at all.

At least that's the thinking now. A final vote on bridge and tunnel toll increases won't happen until October 27. About 75 percent of MTA tolls are paid with EZ Pass. Making cash more expensive to use might cut down on the long lines that spill back and block traffic at manned toll booths.

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