It’s been two years since the last MTA fare hike, but the holiday is over. In a unanimous vote this morning, the MTA Board has approved a fare hike bringing the base fare of a subway ride up to $2.50 and the cost of a 30-day unlimited card to $112. Originally scheduled for January 1, the fare hike will instead go into effect on March 1 due to some favorable MTA financial returns from mid-2012.
The details of the fare hike remain as I reported them last Thursday. In addition to the base fare and 30-day increases, the MTA will raise the cost of a seven-day card from $29 to $30, and the pay-per-ride discount level will move to just five percent but will be effective for all purchases of $5 or more. The MTA has also approved a $1 surcharge on new cards purchased in-system. Such a fee is projected to generate $20 million annually.
While realizing annual savings of nearly $1 billion on the operations ledger, this fare hike is expected to generate $450 million in increased revenue for the MTA. Much of that will go toward funding pension obligations. The next MTA fare hike is on the table for early 2015. And so in one of his last actions as MTA Chair, Joe Lhota saw through a fare hike. How’s that for a mayoral platform?