Home Fare Hikes The MTA will listen to your thoughts on the fare hike

The MTA will listen to your thoughts on the fare hike

by Benjamin Kabak

Bonus Card

That fare hike proposal sure is confusing, no? With one plan presenting a two-tiered fare structures based on peak and off-peak travel times and another a straight-up fare hike but with a higher percentage increase for those using Unlimited Ride cards, it’s hard to keep track of the numbers and how we’re all affected by the economics of it all.

Enter Jeremy Olshan, the transit beat writer at The New York Post. In a recent article of Olshan’s about the complexities of the fare hike, The Post printed a nifty fare calculator — which, as SUBWAYblogger noted, is really just a table with a drop-down menu, but details — that helps display the differences between the two fare hikes.

Now, you, dear straphanger, must be wondering why this matters. After all, anyone with a pencil and piece of paper could work out what The Post has to say. Well, it matters because you can use it as a cheat sheet when you go to speak to the MTA about the fare hike. Next month, the MTA will hold eight public hearings on the fare hike.This is your chance to get your voice heard. Want an F Express option in Brooklyn? Make it known now. Want more handicap-accessible stations? Say so.

Here are the details from the press release:

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority today announced the dates and locations for eight public hearings that will be held throughout the region to solicit public input on proposed fare and toll increases…

In addition to the eight hearings, the public can provide comments at an interactive public engagement workshop, an online web forum (webinar), MTA Board and committee meetings from October through December 2007, and email or letter submissions. All public comments and feedback will help inform the MTA Board’s decision-making process. At the December 2007 Board meeting, it is anticipated that the Board will consider the proposals, or variations of them, and determine which ones, if any, to adopt. More information on the proposed fare and toll changes is also now available on the MTA website.

A webinar? Great word. And the “more information” mentioned in the press release is available here. Read up and head to those meetings prepared to speak your mind.

The in-person meetings will be held in every MTA-accessible area — Westchester, Long Island and the five boroughs — and MTA CEO Elliot “Lee” Sander urged disgruntled riders to attend the hearings. “There are more opportunities for public input than ever before, and the MTA is committed to an expanded public process,” Sander said. “We have put forward some new ideas and I look forward to not only hearing what our customers think but engaging in a productive two-way dialogue.”

Make that dialogue productive. Here’s our chance to really push our suggested improvements in the face of all of those C/C- grades riders keep handing out to the subways. No fare hike without system-wide upgrades!

After the jump, the locations and dates for all of the hearings. I’ll try to go to the one either in Manhattan or Brooklyn and bring back a full and stimulating report.

Monday, November 5, 2007, 6 p.m.
Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge
Grand Ballroom
333 Adams Street, Brooklyn

Monday, November 5, 2007, 6 p.m.
Palisades Center
Raso Community Room, 4th floor
1000 Palisades Center Drive, West Nyack

Wednesday, November 7, 2007, 6 p.m.
Farmingdale State College
Roosevelt Hall – Little Theater
2350 Broadhollow Road, Farmingdale

Wednesday, November 7, 2007, 6 p.m.
Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel
135-20 39th Avenue, Flushing, Queens

Thursday, November 8, 2007, 6 p.m.
Westchester County Center
East Wing, 1st floor
198 Central Avenue, White Plains

Thursday, November 8, 2007, 6 p.m.
Hotel Pennsylvania
Ball Room, 2nd floor
401 7 Avenue (West 32 and West 33 Streets), Manhattan

Tuesday, November 13, 2007, 6 p.m.
Michael J. Petrides Educational Complex
Auditorium, Building C
715 Ocean Terrance, Staten Island

Tuesday, November 13, 2007, 6 p.m.
Lehman College
Speech and Theater Building
Lovinger Theatre, 1st floor
250 Bedford Park Boulevard, Bronx

Public Engagement Workshop
On November 17, the MTA will hold a first-ever public engagement workshop to discuss the various fare and toll options and MTA priorities over the next five to ten years. An online web forum (webinar) will be scheduled soon after November 17 to allow additional public discussion of those issues. Details about the workshop and the webinar will be published on the MTA website later in October.

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