NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Commuters across the area are feeling the pinch Monday after fare hikes for MTA subways and buses went into effect.
Subway and bus fares have increased from $2.75 to $2.90.
The MTA last raised fares for weekly and monthly MetroCards in 2019, but this is the first time base fares have spiked since 2015.
"Rather than having massive fare increases whenever the MTA hits a financial wall, we should have incremental and predictable, 2%-a-year fare increase. We're going back to that, that's predictable for our riders and it's a small bite," MTA Chairman Janno Lieber said.
Riders have reported that this "small bite" adds up, but for the MTA, this fare increase is worth about $305 million.
"Of course they are are needed. The infrastructure needs a lot of extra money, but I don't know how people are going to make it. It'll be hard on them," one MTA rider said.
NYC Transit, Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad fares are going up 4%. On Aug. 6, tolls on nine MTA bridges and tunnels went up an average of 5.5% and as much as 10% for those who don't have E-Z Pass.
The MTA also raised fares on express buses and monthly MetroCards.
Express bus fares are now $7, up from $6.75. And seven-day unlimited-ride MetroCards are now $34 from $33 while 30-day unlimited MetroCards are $132 up from $127.
The MTA says its seven-day "best fare" fare cap will allow OMNY customers to start their seven-day fare capping period any day of the week.
Unlike the seven-day MetroCard, which requires an upfront $34 payment, the OMNY "best fare" initiative will give customers the financial flexibility to pay-as-they-go until they have spent $34 in any consecutive seven days, after which the cap will be in effect through the end of seven days.
Seven-Day Express Bus Plus MetroCards have risen to $64 from the current $62.
All discounts for seniors and others with reduced fares will remain in place.
A vote last month put the MTA back on its schedule of fare and toll hikes every other year.
It comes after New York Gov. Kathy Hochul's budget infused the MTA with more than a billion dollars in new funding. The agency says without it, the fare hikes would have been worse.
"Because we took action, we were able to stabilize the agency financially and we're even increasing service," Lieber said.
If you drive with an E-ZPass, you may have already experienced the 6% toll hike that went into effect earlier this month.
The MTA is counting on additional revenue from congestion pricing, expected to start next year.
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