Home Fare Hikes MTA Board approves 2011 fare hike

MTA Board approves 2011 fare hike

by Benjamin Kabak

It was a foregone conclusion that subway fares were going up, but the MTA Board has voted to approve a fare hike that will go into effect on January 1, 2011. The 30-day MetroCard will now cost $104, and while the $2.25 base fare will remain the same, the fare bonus will drop to 7 percent on purchases of $10 or more. For more details on the various changes, check out this post.

Interestingly, while the Board realized it’s choices were limited, the meeting itself grew a bit contentious as public speakers were harsh, and the MTA representatives decided to reply. NY1’s John Mancini reports:

Many MTA Board members echoed the sentiment that the state government cannot be relied on rescue the agency from budget shortfalls, and said the only other alternative would have been further service cuts. “We did everything we could do. We have nothing left to do,” said board member Susan Metzger. “I would rather have expensive fares than no service.”…

However, several public speakers who addressed the board went on long tirades accusing the agency of being more concerned with its Wall Street investments than the concerns of transit riders. Two speakers even referred to board members as “rich scumbags” and demanded that the board members be fired.

Board member Norman Seabrook said he also opposes the fare increases, but he criticized the harsh tone of the public speakers. He said the state Legislature would give more aid to the MTA if it was faced with the possibility of a transit shutdown. “Let the system crash. I bet you dollars to doughnuts that they won’t let that happen,” said Seabrook.

While Seabrook’s suggestion is a risky one, I’ve long wondered what Albany would do if the MTA Board allowed the authority’s system to crash. I believe the Board members could be charged with a breach of their fiduciary duties, but it would force Albany’s hand.

But for now, what’s done is done. Come January 1, 2011, we’ll be paying more to ride the subways. Again.

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Eric October 7, 2010 - 11:49 am


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Scott E October 7, 2010 - 12:52 pm

This is completely irrelevant, but it made me smile amid discouraging subway news. Last night, my 3 1/2 year old son was looking at “The Map” and asked why there isn’t a gray line for the “S” train (Rockaway Shuttle). He concluded it’s because they ran out of gray markers or crayons. He also wants to build the “10” train when he grows up.

As naive kids, many of us looked at the subways with awe and amazement. As adults, we look at it with resentment and resignation. What happened?

Jerrold October 7, 2010 - 1:17 pm

He sounds like a smart kid!
Is he actually literate at 3 1/2?

Scott E October 7, 2010 - 3:48 pm

3 years and 8 months, actually, but yes, he’s quite smart. WordWorld on PBS (and good parenting) does wonders.

Lawrence Velazquez October 7, 2010 - 3:40 pm

I find that my internal relationship between the subways and the institutions around them is very similar to that between airPLANES and airLINES. If that makes any sense.

Jerrold October 7, 2010 - 1:14 pm

[I first posted this on the earlier thread by mistake. I intended to put it here.]

It is very confusing the way this is being announced in the news media.
The statement that “Single rides will cost $2.50? makes it sound like the BASE FARE will be $2.50.
The newspaper websites and radio stations are NOT making it clear that the base fare will still be $2.25, and therefore the Senior Citizen and Handicapped fare will still be $1.10.
The $2.50 fare will be only when you are buying a single-ride MetroCard.

Jonathan October 7, 2010 - 1:16 pm

That’s a 19% increase for a single ride, if purchased with the bulk discount included, up to $2.34 from $1.96. Wow.

Benjamin Kabak October 7, 2010 - 1:19 pm

Jonathan, I think your math is wrong. If you purchase a bulk discount MetroCard for $43 (20 rides), you get a total of $46 on the card which is the equivalent of 20.4 rides so you’re paying $2.11 per ride. That’s just an increase of $0.15.

Only the cost of a single-ride ticket — the paper MetroCards used once and then discarded — is going up to $2.50.

Jonathan October 7, 2010 - 3:43 pm

Ben, thanks for the clarification. It’s a 7.5% increase, then, for the pay-per-ride with bonus.

Jack October 7, 2010 - 3:08 pm

To be perfectly honest, I’d like to see Seabrook’s proposal come to fruition. Considering how everything else has failed to get Albany’s attention, I can’t see any better way than to see what a week without the MTA is like. I mean, what are they going to do, punish the MTA and never give them any money?

As Benjamin said, this maneuver would undoubtedly cost the board members their jobs. I wonder if they would be willing to take that risk…

On the other hand, a week without subways means, theoretically, a week of uninterrupted track and station repairs!

peterdiddy October 7, 2010 - 3:29 pm

Pay increases & benefit enhancements, followed by service cuts and fare hikes.

I hate this state

Lawrence Velazquez October 7, 2010 - 3:41 pm

News flash, buddy: None of the other 49 are much better.

peterdiddy October 7, 2010 - 5:06 pm

no state is perfect
but NY/NJ/CA/IL are in a league of their own

Alon Levy October 8, 2010 - 12:19 am

At least those places have positive income growth. Atlanta’s per capita income went down 4% between 2000 and 2007. Plenty more Sunbelt cities had zero income growth.

Skip Skipson October 7, 2010 - 7:31 pm

So my unlimited will cost me $104 plus $1 new card fee each month, I suspect lots of people (Myself included) will be enrolling in the Easy Pay Xpress to avoid the $1 fee.


Andrew October 7, 2010 - 9:31 pm

Unlimited cards will be refillable. Or you can by them from an outside retailer, where the $1 fee won’t apply. (Or you can use Easy Pay Xpress, as you suggest.)

Skip Skipson October 8, 2010 - 9:00 am

So starting in Jan 2011 (or right now?) you can refill your Unlimited Monthly? I always thought that wasn’t possible.

Benjamin Kabak October 8, 2010 - 10:49 am

So far, it isn’t possible, but Transit plans to change the MVMs to make sure that you can indeed refill your card.

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