Home Fare Hikes Added service could come with higher fares

Added service could come with higher fares

by Benjamin Kabak

Abandon hope, all ye who hate fare hikes. Today, the MTA board’s finance committee voted to approve the fare hike plans. While the full MTA board still has to decide on the hike tomorrow, that vote is all but a formality at this point.

“There is little question that this will be approved, if not unanimously, then virtually unanimously,” MTA Board member Barry Feinstein said to NY1’s transportation guru Bobby Cuza. So start stocking up on Unlimited Ride 30-Day MetroCards. The new fares will most likely go into effect on March 2.

But all is not last in the war for a better subway system. Along with the new fares — and a financial caveat — will come increased bus and subway service during the second half of 2008. William Neuman reports:

Riders would see the first service improvements in June, according to material released on Monday. Some of the changes are relatively small, like shaving one or two minutes from waiting times for evening service on the Nos. 1, 4 and 6 lines. Others add hours of operation to some lines. Operation of the B and W lines on weekdays would be extended to 11 p.m. from 9:30 p.m. Some changes, like an increase in service on the G train, would not begin until next December.

The changes would also create a new bus line, the M13, from the Lower East Side to East Midtown, and would extend the B71 and B77 buses from Brooklyn via the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel into Manhattan, where they would go to South Ferry.

Cuza also notes that the 3 will always run to 148th St., that the R will go to Forest Hills-71st Ave. at all times, and that the 7 will see more weekend service.

According to the MTA, these much-needed service additions will cost at least $16 million in 2008 and $46 million the year after. No matter the price tage, riders along those lines targeted for service should rejoice, and those relying on the B (like me!) should be particularly thrilled by that news.

Of course, there’s one giant IF though. The MTA will implement this increased service plan only if their finances hold through the first three months of 2008. If the debt-laden agency’s economic situation worsens between now and March, riders will be saddled with a higher fare and none of the promised service upgrades. “If those are not now going to go through, you know, I feel a little bit betrayed about the whole thing, and so should the customers,” NYCT Riders Council representative and MTA board Andrew Albert said.

For all the negativity surrounding the fare hike, these service upgrades should soften the blow of the fare hikes. Unsurprisingly, the MTA hasn’t done a great job pushing these service upgrades as a trade-off for the fare hikes. Had they done so, I believe the public would have been more accepting of the hikes.

Photo of the old tokens and a Metrocard by flickr user MacRonin47.

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7 comments

Second Ave. Sagas | Blogging the NYC Subways » Blog Archive » A subway Bill of ‘Yeah, Rights’ December 19, 2007 - 1:46 am

[…] straphangers may enjoy some service upgrades with the fare hike, two city councilmen and a whole slew of rider advocates want the City Council […]

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Second Ave. Sagas | Blogging the NYC Subways » Blog Archive » Did the Mayor torpedo instant service upgrades? December 20, 2007 - 3:00 pm

[…] the MTA announced yesterday the service upgrades to go along with the fare hike, I applaueded the agency for its fiscal restraint. The upgrades, you see, are being delayed until June or later so that the MTA can make sure its […]

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Second Ave. Sagas | Blogging the NYC Subways » Blog Archive » No one really likes the E or the G December 24, 2007 - 2:49 am

[…] to the 71st Ave. in Forest Hills, but the train will no longer head that far into Queens when the service additions go into place next […]

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Second Ave. Sagas | Blogging the NYC Subways » Blog Archive » Bronx to enjoy $13.7 million worth of service upgrades February 20, 2008 - 12:39 am

[…] in December, the MTA unvieled the plan service upgrades, but the agency couldn’t affix a time table to them. They had to make sure their finances […]

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Second Ave. Sagas | Blogging the NYC Subways » Blog Archive » Breaking: Planned service upgrades shelved, for now March 24, 2008 - 3:57 pm

[…] going to delay service upgrades after the fare hike” pool? After talking up service additions across the board, the MTA is unsurprisingly postponing the planned upgrades due to an unsteady economy and […]

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Second Ave. Sagas | A New York City Subway Blog » Blog Archive » Planned service upgrades going…going…gone June 19, 2008 - 12:06 am

[…] and naïve we were when the MTA told us that along with the fare hike, New Yorkers would enjoy much-needed service upgrades as well? Those were the […]

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Second Ave. Sagas | A New York City Subway Blog » Blog Archive » NYC Transit service upgrades just like Christmas in July July 25, 2008 - 1:14 am

[…] of this announcement couldn’t have been better for the MTA. While we really needed the full $45-million package of upgrades, these $8.9-million increases will have to suffice. Now we can’t say the MTA never does […]

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