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.