Updated (1:30 p.m.): Say good bye to the W and Z trains, good weekend service and low fares.
In a 12-1 vote, the MTA Board has approved its so-called Doomsday budget in its legally mandated effort to balance its budget.
The new fare structure will be as I detailed last night (and as presented below), and the new fare rates are set to go into effect on May 31. Late-night and weekend service cuts could go into effect even earlier, and the Z and W trains along with numerous bus routes will be eliminated in their entirety.
This is truly a sad day for supporters and riders of transit in New York City, and the blame for this lies squarely with Albany.
While the battle for now has been lost, there is a faint glimmer of hope. The MTA Board said that today was not the final Doomsday. If Albany acts soon, the Board could put off the service cuts and reduce the fare hike. Politicker NY’s Eliot Brown reports:
Still, the drama continues, as this was not actually the drop-dead deadline for avoiding the fare hike. As many MTA board members noted, the board can take back the action should Albany agree on a new funding package. The fare hikes are slated to go into effect in June, while the service cuts would start earlier.
The Mayor’s Office however warned of at Albany punt. Albany could enact a short-term measure that is a politically popular measure but does nothing to address the inherent problems of the MTA. Writes Brown:
Jeff Kay, a mayoral appointee on the board and director of the mayor’s Office of Operations, was rather pessimistic, suggesting that even if there is a rescue, it will only be a short-term fix that doesn’t get at the root of the problem (not enough long-term reliable funding).
It’s possible, Kay said, that “they’ll come through with what’s politically expedient, which is, make sure fare hikes don’t go into effect.” But even so, “we will be back in two months saying we still have a problem if they just do the politically expedient thing.”
The drama continues.
- Pay-per-ride subway and bus fares increase from $2 to $2.50. Whether the 15 percent discount will remain is up for debate.
- Express bus fares will increse from $5 to $6.25.
- 1-Day Unlimited Ride MetroCards increase from $7.50 to $9.50.
- 7-Day Unlimited Ride MetroCards increase from $25 to $31.
- 14-Day Unlimited Ride MetroCards increase from $47 to $59.
- 30-Day Unlimited Ride MetroCards increase from $81 to $103.