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Fare increase likely on unlimited cards

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Fare increase likely on unlimited cards

By David Freedlander, amNewYork Staff Writer

November 27, 2007

 

[float=right]33968017-27053006.jpg[/float]Straphangers still gotta cough up the extra dough, just not as much as they once thought.

 

On the heels of Gov. Eliot Spitzer's surprise announcement last week of the discovery of a $220 million surplus, MTA officials said the agency faces a 3.85 percent shortfall, instead of the 6.5 percent that had been previously reported.

 

A spokesman for the MTA declined to state exactly how much subway and bus fares would rise, but since Spitzer has already said that base fares will remain $2, it is expected that unlimited use and MetroCard costs will rise slightly beyond the 3.85 percent.

 

"If you hold constant one portion of your revenues, then by definition other revenues will have to be raised to make up that difference," MTA finance chief Gary Dellaverson said at a Monday meeting of the MTA board's finance committee.

 

About 15 percent of all city riders pay the full $2 base fare and are generally considered among the city's poorest, board member Barry Feinstein said.

 

MTA Board Chairman Dale Hemmerdinger said last week he was "very concerned about the equity and distribution" of the $220 million throughout the system. Dellaverson said he expects a proposal to be completed within two weeks.

 

No matter what plan the board approves next month it would likely take effect in March, officials have said.

 

The additional funds, discovered as the MTA prepares its annual 2008 budget, are derived from increased ridership, greater-than-expected real estate tax revenue, unspent funds, and lesser than anticipated debt service costs.

 

With Steve Ritea

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This is getting really old already. This issue has been talked about so much I'm willing to take the fare hike so it can just go away already.

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I'm willing to take the fare hike so it can just go away already.

 

Hey, speak for yourself buddy.:D

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