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MTA announces fare, toll hike proposals; 4 percent increase likely

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Tim Fleischer has details on the MTA's plan for a new round of fare hikes. (Shutterstock)

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Wednesday discussed details of its annual plan to raise fares and tolls by around 4 percent over the next two years, as part of a presentation of its proposed 2017 operating budget.

The MTA unveiled two options for increases, based on how much of a bonus bus and subway commuters get when buying a multi-ride MetroCard. One option involves the base price jumping from $2.75 to $3, with the bonus increasing from 11 percent on a $5.50 purchase to 16 percent on a $6 one. The other keeps the base at $2.75, but lowers the bonus to 5 percent on $5.50 purchase.

Currently, a seven-day MetroCard costs $31 and a 30-day $116.50. Under both plans, those prices would increast to $32 and $121, respectively.

"We are giving them safe and reliable service," MTA chairman Thomas Prendergast said. "We want to get the flavor of the ridership at large with respect to how it impacts them. The overwhelming majority of customers are using seven day and 30-day."

Prices would also be increasing on the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North, capped at 3.75 percent, as well as at MTA bridges and tunnels.

Public hearings on the proposed rate hikes will begin next month, and the full MTA board will vote December 14 on whether to approve the proposed increases. The new fares will take effect in March.

The MTA has adhered to a schedule of biennial fare increases since 2009. In 2013, the MTA reduced the planned hikes to 4 percent from the original 7.5 percent. Just over half of the MTA's $15.6 billion annual operating budget comes from fares and tolls.
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