Home Service Advisories Fares, fares, everywhere fares

Fares, fares, everywhere fares

by Benjamin Kabak

Before getting to the record low two weekend service changes, let’s journey down to Washington, D.C. for a brief jaunt. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority just unveiled one whopper of a fare hike, and it certainly makes you appreciative of the inevitable fare that the MTA’s board will pass next week.

Basically, here’s the situation. Unlike the MTA, the WMATA has no dedicated source of revenue and instead relies on fare box intake as well as relatively meager contributions from the Commonewealth of Virginia and the great state of Maryland. The fare increase is needed to shore up a budget that faces a 2008 deficit of $109 million. The fare hike details, courtesy of Lena H. Sun’s article in The Washington Post:

After months of contentious debate, the board compromised in a 5 to 1 vote that will raise the subway rush-hour boarding charge by 30 cents, to $1.65 per trip, and increase daily parking fees, which are as high as $4, by 75 cents for six months. The board has an option to raise parking fees an additional quarter after that. Virginia member T. Dana Kauffman cast the sole opposing vote

The fare and fee hikes are scheduled to take effect Jan. 6 and would be the first such increases in four years, officials said. There are no increases for off-peak subway fares or MetroAccess…

As a result, rush-hour riders, who make up the biggest portion of daily users, will experience the largest increases. A trip from the Vienna Metrorail station to Dupont Circle would increase from $3.65 to $4.35; a trip from Shady Grove to Tenleytown would go from $3.35 to $4.

Percentage-wise, these increases are astronomical. The base fare increases by 22 percent; the fares from suburban stations will increase by approximately 19 percent. In comparison, the cost for a 30-Day Unlimited MetroCards is increasing by 6.5 percent.

With the WMATA’s tier fare structure comes a suburban vs. urban debate. Board representatives from Virginia and Maryland say that their suburban constituents are against these astronomical increases and are open to the idea of sitting in soul-crushing DC-area traffic to avoid paying up to $8.70 a day for a round trip on Metro. Those commuters who park-and-ride could see weekly increases of up to $10.75 a week. Yikes.

Once again, no matter how inept the MTA can be sometimes, all things considered, we have a pretty sweet subway in New York, fare hikes and all.

And now a segue.

Luckily for you, that pretty sweet subway system tones down the service advisories for the holidays. Thank the tourists. There are only two service alerts this weekend, and neither of them are all that inconvenient.

From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, December 15 and Sunday, December 16, Bronx-bound 4 trains run express from 149th Street to Burnside Avenue due to cable work north of 149th Street station.

From 12:01 a.m., Saturday, December 15 to 5 a.m. Monday, December 17, Brooklyn-bound D trains run express from 36th Street to Coney Island/Stillwell Avenue due to switch renewal north of 9th Avenue.

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