MTA MetroCard fares, bridge toll hikes start Sunday

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Rob Nelson has the story and reaction from riders.

The MTA board-approved increase of 25 cents in the base MetroCard fare -- raising the cost of a single ride to $2.75 -- starts Sunday.

Bonuses will increase to 11 percent for every $5.50 spent. Currently, riders get 5 percent bonus for every $5 spent.

The weekly MetroCard will go up $1 from $30 to $31, while the monthly MetroCard will increase from $112 to $116.50.

MTA Board members were offered an alternate option of keeping the base fare at $2.50 but eliminating the bonuses. However it appears a majority of the board members favor raising the base fare and keeping the bonuses, which are popular with riders. Single-ride tickets are used for less than 1 percent of trips.

As for the tolls, board members approved keeping toll increases low for E-ZPass users and raising tolls more on drivers who use cash.

E-ZPass tolls for car and truck drivers will go up 4 percent, while cash paying car drivers will see increases anywhere from 6.7 and 10 percent. Cash-paying truck drivers will see hikes between 6.4 and 8 percent.

The toll on the Verrazano Narrows Bridge will go from $15 to $16 for cash drivers and $10.66 to $11.08 for E-ZPass users.

The increases represent a 4 percent fare and toll hike over the next two years. Under the current fare and toll hike schedule, riders can expect to see another 4 percent increase in 2017.
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