MTA fares go up on Sunday for first time in 4 years

On Sunday, the cost of subway, bus and commuter train rides will go up for the first time in four years.During the pandemic, the MTA paused its regular schedule of fare hikes every two years. But the agency says budget constraints mean the reprieve is over.Single subway or bus rides will go up by 15 cents, from $2.75 to $2.90, a 5% increase.For riders who use a MetroCard and purchase a seven-day or 30-day unlimited pass, the overall costs will increase as well. A 30-day pass will increase from $127 to $132, and the seven-day unlimited pass will increase by $1 to $34 total.Commuter railroad fares will rise by about 4%.Gov. Kathy Hochul and the state Legislature tossed the MTA a lifeline this year by increasing the payroll mobility tax on New York City businesses and agreeing to a one-time $300 million payment. All of that goes to funding the operating budget, which is still reeling from a pandemic-era drop in ridership.Still, riders aren’t happy about the fare hike, particularly at a time when prices for everything seem to be increasing, yet incomes for many remain flat.“My salary. Yeah, it’s not going to go up, believe me,” said Lila McGushin, a commuter from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. “Sure, we’re not happy.”“It’s terrible, man. It just keeps on going up,” said 19-year-old Queens resident Chris Matthew. “Gonna keep on swiping or jumping [the turnstile].”Santana, a 70-year old Crown Heights resident who goes only by his last name, said he wouldn’t mind paying the fare, but noted that the MTA also complains that it loses $700 million a year to fare evasion. He said if the MTA reduced that first, maybe he’d be OK with a fare hike.“It bothers me only because their excuse that they’re giving for that is fare evasion,” he said.The MTA reports it loses $315 million a year on buses, $285 million on subways, $46 million on tolls at the bridges and tunnels, and $44 million on the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North.Still, not everyone opposes the increase.“I think it’s probably a good idea,” said Damon Boyd, 32, from Brownsville. “As long as the trains are running smoothly, there shouldn’t be a problem with it.”“The increase in fares and tolls is a continuation of an MTA practice that began in 2009 in which small, predictable adjustments are made to fares and tolls on a biennial basis,” the MTA wrote in an announcement about the fare increase.The agency expects the fare increase will bring in $117 million this year and is planning for another 4% fare hike in 2025 and another one in 2027.

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