MTA Proposals for Toll, Subway and Commuter Rail Hikes Revealed Ahead of Thursday Board Meeting - NBC New York

MTA Proposals for Toll, Subway and Commuter Rail Hikes Revealed Ahead of Thursday Board Meeting

A source described one of the proposed hikes as the MTA's "own version of congestion pricing"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    MTA Plans to Hike Fares Twice by 2021

    Specifics on the proposed increase in 2019 and a second four-percent hike in 2021 weren't immediately clear and won't be known until public hearings in the fall or winter. A 2017 hike likewise bumped fares on the subways, buses, Metro-North and Long Island Railroad by 4 percent, but kept the base subway fare at $2.75. Andrew Siff reports.

    (Published Wednesday, July 25, 2018)

    What to Know

    • The MTA is proposing an 8 percent toll hike -- double the usual percentage increase -- to funnel more money into the capital plan

    • There will also be a proposed 4 percent hike for commuter rail and express buses

    • For subways, there are two options: Keep subway base fare the same and get rid of MetroCard bonuses or hike base fares by 4 percent

    The MTA plans to propose an 8 percent toll hike -- double the usual percentage increase -- along with a 4 percent hike for commuter rail and express buses while keeping subway base fare the same and eliminating the MetroCard bonus, sources familiar with the plans tell News 4.

    The agency plans to present its proposals at a board meeting Thursday. 

    According to the sources, the 8 percent toll hike is double the typical increase to funnel some more money into the capital plan. One source described that plan as the MTA's "own version of congestion pricing." If the board does not approve that, there's an option for a 4 percent hike instead, the sources say. 

    In another effort to save money, the cash-strapped agency wants to delay the planned launch of Select Bus Service on 96th Street in Manhattan by a year.

    The subway matter, meanwhile, could go one of two ways, the sources say. Option 1: Keep base fare at $2.75 and get rid of the MetroCard bonuses or hike base fare by 4 percent.   

    Officials had said at a board meeting in July that they planned to increase fares twice in the next three years, including a 4 percent hike in 2019 and a second 4 percent hike in 2021.

    The semi-annual increases would constitute the sixth and seventh hikes since 2009 --when base subway and bus fares were bumped from $2 to $2.25. The upcoming hikes have also been part of a long-planned increases every other year dating back to that year.

    MTA officials said in July that even with the planned hikes, it is projecting significant deficits over the next several years. Officials blamed the budget gap on a second straight year of declining ridership as well as lower real estate revenues than expected.

    The proposed hikes come a bit more than a year after Gov. Cuomo declared a state of emergency for the subways. Then-MTA chairman Joe Lhota, who announced his immediate resignation last week, had developed a Subway Action Plan aimed at improving service but had faced significant criticism in recent months over aging infrastructure, communication and frequent delays.

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