New Yorkers Pan MTA Fare Hike

By Yadira Gomez

A proposal to increase the MTA fares at the beginning of March 2019 has many New Yorkers complaining that it makes little sense to pay more for bad service. A record number of city residents rely on public transportation. In 2016, the average weekday subway ridership was 5.7 million, the highest since 1948, according to the MTA. The annual ridership was 1.757 billion. The proposal is to increase the fare on subways, buses, Long Island Railroad and the Metro-North by at least four percent.

There are the two possible options on the table.

Option 1

Keep the base fare of $2.75 for buses and subways, remove the five percent bonus with a $5.50 purchase. Increase the express bus fare from $6.50 to $7 and the seven-day pass fare from $32 to $33. Increase the seven-day express bus fare from $59.50 to $63.

Option 2

Raise the base fare from $2.75 to $3 for buses and subways, with an increase of the 5 percent bonus to 10 percent with a purchase of $6. Increase the express bus fare from $6.50 to $7.25. Increase the seven-day pass from $32 to $33. The seven-day express bus will increase from $59.50 to $63. Finally, the 30-day MetroCard will increase from $121 to $126.25.

“I don’t feel like paying $3 to wait in the freezing cold or in heat,” said Aileen, a Bronx Community College student. “I don’t feel like any of us should pay any more money for unreliable service.”

Many New Yorkers are complaining about delays on trains and buses, crowds in the stations, filth, and even crime. “It gets very frustrating when you see three or four buses passing in front of you are ‘Not in Service’ when you’ve been waiting more than half an hour,” Junior Taveras said. “Then you get desperate and have no other option than taking an Uber, which sometimes can be more affordable than a MetroCard.”

Nights, weekends and holidays, can be particularly frustrating. “I waited 45 minutes for the Bx41 bus on Thanksgiving,” Brandon Velez said. “The wait was ridiculous, I understand that it wasn’t crowded, but the MTA should be accessible on holidays. Many people work, and still we can’t get home by a decent hour.”

Some blame Governor Andrew Cuomo for the fare hike. “Under the leadership of Governor Cuomo the fare has gone up twice,” Stephanie Burgos said. “In these years we have seen more delays and slow service.”

A fare hike could hit students hard, said Hilda Colon, a Hostos Community College counselor.  “I see the fare proposal and I don’t see anything for the students. The students at Hostos and CUNY-wide deserve at least a fare reduction, not an increase.”

High prices for transit have driven some New Yorkers to try to avoid paying.  “I take public transportation every day to go to work, and I always get to see a person getting a ticket for trying to get in the bus or the train without paying,” said Violeta Peralta.






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