The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will hold the first public hearing tonight on proposed fare increases -- yet another round of hikes that have hit straphangers in recent years as the agency tries to close a massive budget gap.
Monday night's 6 p.m. hearing at Cooper Union is the first of nine public meetings where commuters will get a chance to voice their opinion on the MTA's latest plan to increase fares and tolls by about 7.5 percent.
The MTA has a some $800 million shortfall this year and reduce future shortages -- mostly from lost tax revenue -- could still reach $1.3 billion over the next four years, the agency warns.
Under the new plan, single fares would go to $2.50, up from $2.25.
"Unlimited" MetroCards -- putting a cap on how many rides a monthly pass allows and boosting base fare from $89 to at $104. MTA officials have even said a truly unlimited card could skyrocket to $130.
Last month, nearly 200 city subway workers whose jobs were in limbo for month had to hand in their badges and uniforms for good to deal with budget cuts.
The agency says it has cut nearly 3,500 jobs this year. The Transport Workers Union says eliminating subway station workers makes the stations unsafe.
Public hearings will be held in all five boroughs, Long Island and Westchester.
A full list can be found here.