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Via Garibaldi 8

MTA eyeing 2017 bus, subway fare hike to $3; hopes to raise more than $300M

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MTA eyeing 2017 bus, subway fare hike to $3; hopes to raise more than $300M

 

fares28n-2-web.jpg
Riders may have to shell out more for a subway or bus ride next year.  (SUSAN WATTS/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Wednesday, July 27, 2016, 9:36 PM

 

The $3 subway ride is looming and could be a reality next year.

 

The MTA on Wednesday issued a financial plan that includes an all but definite fare hike in 2017, with the aim of raising more than $300 million annually for a transit system struggling to provide reliable service.

 

Just how the MTA comes up with a cash infusion — tweaking MetroCard and commuter rail prices as well as bridge and tunnel tolls — is up to agency officials.

 

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The subways have been overcrowded, but riders have seen a decline in service. (RICHARD HARBUS/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

But if past fare increases are a guide, MTA officials could well suggest that the base $2.75 fare go up a quarter to $3, according to Jamison Dague of the nonprofit, Citizens Budget Commission. Raising the price of an unlimited ride MetroCard is on the table, too.

 

L train shutdown needs a concrete plan for alternatives: pols

 

“Usually, in all of these options, the MTA is careful to ensure that everyone has some sort of shared pain here when it comes to a fare increase,” said Dague, the commission’s director of infrastructure studies.

MTA brass stressed that the fare hike is part of a budget projection and that the forecast could change when the numbers are crunched again in November.

 

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It's not clear how much more commuters will have to pay in tolls.  (ANDREW SAVULICH/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

“That’s different than a, ‘Yes we’re gonna have a fare increase,’” MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast said.

Still, a 4% fare hike kicking in this March would raise $308 million a year on average through 2020.

 

G trains will be used to test new digital screens

 

On top of that, as part of its regular two-year fare increases, another spike in 2019 would reap the MTA an additional $594 million over two years.

 

“The biennial fare and toll increases need to be pursued,” MTA finance chief Bob Foran told agency board members Wednesday.

 

In 2015, the MTA pulled in $7.7 billion in fare and toll revenue, which covers half of what it costs the MTA to run its system, according to budget docs.

 

But after setting ridership records in 2015, business seems to have fallen off, as the system has been wracked by late trains and buses, broken equipment and overall shoddy service.

 

After a rosy February financial outlook, the MTA took in $182 million less from fares and tolls than officials estimated.

“The numbers indicate that maybe that rate of rise is trimming somewhat, coming back somewhat,” Prendergast said, adding that running more trains “is a challenge that we’ve got to meet and meet faster.”

 

Riders said last year’s fare increase is still fresh in their minds and that they’re having a tough time covering their transportation costs.

 

“I have a wife and kids. A little rise to some is a big rise for people like me,” said Syad Rizvi, 50, a gas station cashier from Queens. “So how can working people afford this?”

 

Ovid Bathersfield, 34, a nursing assistant from Canarsie, Brooklyn, said she could tolerate a fare hike if service was worth it.

 

“The train needs to run smoother. No one wants to wait 20 minutes for the next train,” Bathersfield said. “If the trains improved, paying more wouldn’t be as much of an issue.”

 

David Jones, one of Mayor de Blasio’s MTA board members and an advocate for low-income New Yorkers, said he wants the burden of a fare hike to be spread out or covered by other sources of revenue.

 

“That’s going to be my starting point — are there any ways to come at this that won’t jack up fares for other people just to support the very poor, but at the same time, are there other revenue streams that we have to start looking at more seriously?”

 

fares28n-4-web.jpg
Subway and bus riders say they may have a tough time covering their transportation costs.  (DAN RIVOLI / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

***

Revenue from planned 4% fare hike in 2017:

 

2017 (starting in March) $263M

 

2018 $310M

 

2019 $312M

 

2020 $313M

 

Revenue from planned 4% fare hike in 2019:

 

2019 (starting in March) $277M

 

2020 $32M

 

Total revenue expected from 2017 and 2019 fare hikes $1.8M

 

2015 fare hike:

 

Base fare: $2.75 from $2.50, offset by an 11% bonus for every $5.50 on a MetroCard, up from 5%.

 

30-day MetroCard: $116.50 from $112

 

7-day MetroCard: $31 from $30

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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I think we have a severe crisis on our hands.  The fares are going up wayyy too high, which is leading to people abandoning the system and using more services like Uber, or biking or driving in causing more congestion and gridlock.  If you look at the cost for gas now, it almost doesn't make sense to take Metro-North, the express bus or the subway.  If someone telecommutes and only comes to the office a few days a week, obviously they're not going to get a weekly pass.  With this new fare hike, someone that uses say Metro-North to the subway or a shuttle bus can very well be looking at almost $50.00 or more for just two days of travel, not including any extra trips, so it makes sense to just drive in esp. if you can get free parking.  The city needs to take serious measures to address this issue, and the state also needs to intervene to see what can be done to curtail these ongoing hikes.  It's just too expensive when you compare what you get for your money, or better yet what you could do with that money if you didn't use it.

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I think we have a severe crisis on our hands.  The fares are going up wayyy too high, which is leading to people abandoning the system and using more services like Uber, or biking or driving in causing more congestion and gridlock.  If you look at the cost for gas now, it almost doesn't make sense to take Metro-North, the express bus or the subway.  If someone telecommutes and only comes to the office a few days a week, obviously they're not going to get a weekly pass.  With this new fare hike, someone that uses say Metro-North to the subway or a shuttle bus can very well be looking at almost $50.00 or more for just two days of travel, not including any extra trips, so it makes sense to just drive in esp. if you can get free parking.  The city needs to take serious measures to address this issue, and the state also needs to intervene to see what can be done to curtail these ongoing hikes.  It's just too expensive when you compare what you get for your money, or better yet what you could do with that money if you didn't use it.

 Someone afraid of getting priced out ? We both know no one is motivated to do anything in this Country unless there's a monetary gain attached it's in our DNA. NewYork,where you have to pay to play!  :mellow:

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 Someone afraid of getting priced out ? We both know no one is motivated to do anything in this Country unless there's a monetary gain attached it's in our DNA. NewYork,where you have to pay to play!  :mellow:

I used to spend a few hundred dollars on cabs just to and from the express bus.  I think I can afford a 4% increase just fine, but that's not the point.  The issue here is what people are getting for their money and the fact that quite frankly it may not make sense to even use public transit anymore given the price point.  We don't need more people driving into work or do you think that's really a good idea?  

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I used to spend a few hundred dollars on cabs just to and from the express bus.  I think I can afford a 4% increase just fine, but that's not the point.  The issue here is what people are getting for their money and the fact that quite frankly it may not make sense to even use public transit anymore given the price point.  We don't need more people driving into work or do you think that's really a good idea?  

New York was built on the 5 cent fare... also what led to the deferred maintenance that's the system saw in the 60s 70s. I get that my question is if we know how important Public Transit is then why is the MTA or Transit in general expected to turn a profit? Why do would a Transit Agency that maintains and spurs economic growth be expected to pay interest?  Wouldn't think you think the State and Fed's would be willing to invest in their crown jewel? NYC and in turn the Subway ?More people able to move around more money to the economy in the long run. That's the word of the day long run. Most people think in the short run seems to be inherent to human nature. What can I get now? What can I see now? If people can't see the gain especially monetarily then there going to no priority to fix anything. When people start moving and businesses start going elsewhere then they might move on something. Until then good luck.

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New York was built on the 5 cent fare... also what led to the deferred maintenance that's the system saw in the 60s 70s. I get that my question is if we know how important Public Transit is then why is the MTA or Transit in general expected to turn a profit? Why do would a Transit Agency that maintains and spurs economic growth be expected to pay interest?  Wouldn't think you think the State and Fed's would be willing to invest in their crown jewel? NYC and in turn the Subway ?More people able to move around more money to the economy in the long run. That's the word of the day long run. Most people think in the short run seems to be inherent to human nature. What can I get now? What can I see now? If people can't see the gain especially monetarily then there going to no priority to fix anything. When people start moving and businesses start going elsewhere then they might move on something. Until then good luck.

Actually a better question is what is the (MTA) doing with all of the money they're receiving?  A perfect example... $530 million dollars spent initially on that South Ferry station, and now they're spending another $200 million to fix what should've been done properly the first time.  That's more than half of a billion dollars on one station... No wonder the costs are going through the roof.  I have no problem spending what I spend a month on transit (roughly $300.00+ between the express bus, Metro-North and any car services I use) because I believe being environmentally sound, but the quality of the commute continues to deteriorate while the costs go up, and quite frankly it isn't worth it.  Subways are constantly delayed.  Same deal with the buses.  Metro-North is slightly better in terms of being on time, but even the delays (though relatively minor in comparison to the subway) have started there too.  Come next year I may very well consider some sort of car pooling service which several people in my building already do.  

 

I mean ultimately I really don't care about a subway car having USB ports. I care about getting from point A to point B quickly and monies are being put on the wrong priorities.  

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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Actually a better question is what is the (MTA) doing with all of the money they're receiving?  A perfect example... $530 million dollars spent initially on that South Ferry station, and now they're spending another $200 million to fix what should've been done properly the first time.  That's more than half of a billion dollars on one station... No wonder the costs are going through the roof.  I have no problem spending what I spend a month on transit (roughly $300.00+ between the express bus, Metro-North and any car services I use) because I believe being environmentally sound, but the quality of the commute continues to deteriorate while the costs go up, and quite frankly it isn't worth it.  Subways are constantly delayed.  Same deal with the buses.  Metro-North is slightly better in terms of being on time, but even the delays (though relatively minor in comparison to the subway) have started there too.  Come next year I may very well consider some sort of car pooling service which several people in my building already do.  

 

I mean ultimately I really don't care about a subway car having USB ports. I care about getting from point A to point B quickly and monies are being put on the wrong priorities.  

That's a valid point. But isn't that American culture overall?  Take the money do the least amount of work. Tell people what they want to hear to get what you want! The MTA is middle management. How could you expect more if the State and the Country overall work in this manner? You're essentially saying and seeing what we all see. But you can't focus and blame one cog in the entire clock. I kinda feel like were doing that here. Tho I do understand if you want to just vent and get off your chest. 

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That's a valid point. But isn't that American culture overall?  Take the money do the least amount of work. Tell people what they want to hear to get what you want! The MTA is middle management. How could you expect more if the State and the Country overall work in this manner? You're essentially saying and seeing what we all see. But you can't focus and blame one cog in the entire clock. I kinda feel like were doing that here. Tho I do understand if you want to just vent and get off your chest. 

Actually it's something that the (MTA) realizes which is why Prendegast stated the following:

 

 

 

At some point you reach a breaking point for fares and tolls — is it getting too much for people? At this time, it’s a projection. We’re not there now,” Prendergast said.

 

Source: http://www.amny.com/transit/mta-expected-to-raise-fares-and-tolls-in-2017-as-planned-1.12100179

 

When I said that the fares are too high, I was really referring to what you get for it.  People will always cry that the fares are too high, but then pay, but if you have people ditching transit because they're reached that point to where they don't want to pay anymore, then that's a problem.  We have to remember that public transportation is supposed to be affordable to keep people out of their cars.  If we look at the rate and frequency of the fare hikes, one has to wonder if we're reached the breaking point that Prendergast refers to.  What the (MTA) should do is get rid of the bonus.  It's an odd amount to begin with.  If it helps keep the fares reasonable I would support that, but from what I see on a daily basis, people are now driving more or taking cabs or taxis because from a quality standpoint, it makes more sense and that is what troubles me.  

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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Where's my crying Jordan face when I need it?

 

Anyway, I think this is why we as a country need to focus more of our investments into mass transit. The automobile has had its time and it's already proven that it doesn't work everywhere (NYC is a perfect example of that) and hurts/kills many people on a daily basis. But that's another topic for another scenario, however I'm open to discussing it here. Before I stray too far off topic, let's remember that there are folks who need mass transit who don't have other options, i.e the elderly, the disabled, and the car-less. We can't cut back on investing in mass transit because those people are a minority compared to the millions of motorists out there. Plus mass transit creates jobs. Not just B/O's and T/O's/conductors, but track workers, inspectors, yard workers, garage maintenance, station maintenance, bus/train cleaners, you name it. This isn't just about making the system look pretty, we need to invest in mass transit to put people to work.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using NYC Transit Forums mobile app

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Where's my crying Jordan face when I need it?

 

Anyway, I think this is why we as a country need to focus more of our investments into mass transit. The automobile has had its time and it's already proven that it doesn't work everywhere (NYC is a perfect example of that) and hurts/kills many people on a daily basis. But that's another topic for another scenario, however I'm open to discussing it here. Before I stray too far off topic, let's remember that there are folks who need mass transit who don't have other options, i.e the elderly, the disabled, and the car-less. We can't cut back on investing in mass transit because those people are a minority compared to the millions of motorists out there. Plus mass transit creates jobs. Not just B/O's and T/O's/conductors, but track workers, inspectors, yard workers, garage maintenance, station maintenance, bus/train cleaners, you name it. This isn't just about making the system look pretty, we need to invest in mass transit to put people to work.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using NYC Transit Forums mobile app

While I agree 100%, I also am concerned with the ongoing skyrocketing labor costs.  Those costs are outpacing inflation, which in turn is leading to the need for constant fare increases.  Overall, it doesn't benefit anyone, including the (MTA) workers.  If the (MTA) needs such fare increases now and the workers aren't looking for another raise, what happens when the next contract expires?  On the tolls side, there has to be a breaking point as well... Will the Verrazzano cost $20.00 to cross if one pays in cash?  

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I am aware that Americans have a lower income, but $3 is relatively cheap compared to what we pay in the UK, and even London.. The base fare is London is equivalent or around $6/6.50..

 

As others have mentioned it could be why the system is in a bit of a mess currently... Like when I visit New York, you wouldn't think such a big world city would have a poor subway..

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I am aware that Americans have a lower income, but $3 is relatively cheap compared to what we pay in the UK, and even London.. The base fare is London is equivalent or around $6/6.50..

 

As others have mentioned it could be why the system is in a bit of a mess currently... Like when I visit New York, you wouldn't think such a big world city would have a poor subway..

I'm sorry but you can't compare London to New York.  I've lived in Western Europe, and the Europeans invest far more in their transit systems.  I pay well over $300.00 a month for my transportation and for what I get it's expensive considering how long it takes to get the office and the endless delays.  London also has congestion pricing in place.  We don't have that here, so that makes a HUGE difference, not to mention that London is smaller than the greater New York City, so I'm not so sure that we need zone based fares.  You also don't have such a huge income discrepancy like you do here in NYC.  You have people that earn what I earned when I was in college... I mean someone making $20,000-30,000 a year is going to struggle to pay $6.00 each way.  

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Your points are completely valid VG8, I suppose it's unfortunate there isn't more investment as NYC needs it..

I never suggested paying $6 that is a stupid fare.. And I suppose you could have some sort of zone based system in sense of distance?

 

For example each borough (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx etc).. It might not work in NYC though

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I am aware that Americans have a lower income, but $3 is relatively cheap compared to what we pay in the UK, and even London.. The base fare is London is equivalent or around $6/6.50..

 

As others have mentioned it could be why the system is in a bit of a mess currently... Like when I visit New York, you wouldn't think such a big world city would have a poor subway..

Very true! Even compared to other Cities in the US. Like Washington and The Bay Area. I can travel from The Rockway's to the border of Connecticut for $2.75 unheard of.

While I agree 100%, I also am concerned with the ongoing skyrocketing labor costs.  Those costs are outpacing inflation, which in turn is leading to the need for constant fare increases.  Overall, it doesn't benefit anyone, including the (MTA) workers.  If the (MTA) needs such fare increases now and the workers aren't looking for another raise, what happens when the next contract expires?  On the tolls side, there has to be a breaking point as well... Will the Verrazzano cost $20.00 to cross if one pays in cash?  

So I guess I'm trying to figure out are you blaming the system overall? The fact that MTA is underfunded? And shouldn't be expected to be profitable? Or are you saying the MTA is blowing the money that their giving and for the most part and not doing the right thing?

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Your points are completely valid VG8, I suppose it's unfortunate there isn't more investment as NYC needs it..

I never suggested paying $6 that is a stupid fare.. And I suppose you could have some sort of zone based system in sense of distance?

 

For example each borough (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx etc).. It might not work in NYC though

Well actually there was a commuter tax not that long ago, and folks in suburban areas were vehemently against it and I agree.  It unfairly taxes people with longer commutes, and those people tend to be more affluent and already pay high taxes as it is, so it's essentially a tax on those with more who already pay enough in taxes.   I don't think zone fares are necessary within the city, and would do more harm than good.  For the record, historically speaking those of us who lived in two zone fare neighborhoods have always argued that we were at a disadvantage as our commuting costs were higher, and that's still true today.  The other problem with that is, it discourages people from moving to areas with higher transportation costs, which ultimately isn't good for the city overall.  The city has tried to combat the transportation inequalities by subsidizing this like the express buses, ferries, etc. to keep prices reasonable and in line with what those with subway services pay.

 

You can also look at places like Staten Island which has vehemently been opposed to the ongoing fare hikes on the Verrazzano stating that no other borough has to pay to leave their own borough

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So I guess I'm trying to figure out are you blaming the system overall? The fact that MTA is underfunded? And shouldn't be expected to be profitable? Or are you saying the MTA is blowing the money that their giving and for the most part and not doing the right thing?

The (MTA) is not a "for-profit" agency, but at the same time, that doesn't mean that it can blow money left and right, which IMO is part of the problem.  I don't understand why we need to spend almost one billion dollars on one subway station and then turn around and blow more money to fix half @ssed work.  There is some money, but in some cases it isn't being used efficiently by the (MTA).  There's also still a huge fare beating problem that the (MTA) is aware of but isn't addressing fully, which means that every time they raise the fares, the pain is only being spread among those that actually pay the fare.  That's another problem that isn't being looked at.... The more the fare goes up, how many people just won't pay, be it out of disgust or because they can't afford it?  I travel through quite a few poor neighborhoods in NYC and sometimes I'm one of the few people paying the fare, so while it may seem reasonable for some of us, it clearly isn't so reasonable for many other people, so I think a lot of things need to be examined to ensure that we don't drive people away from using the system either because the alternatives are on par or cheaper than public transit, or because public transit is out of reach.  The one thing that doesn't seem plausible is having a fare increase every two years.  The fare increases have risen much higher than the rate of inflation and are not sustainable.

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The (MTA) is not a "for-profit" agency, but at the same time, that doesn't mean that it can blow money left and right, which IMO is part of the problem.  I don't understand why we need to spend almost one billion dollars on one subway station and then turn around and blow more money to fix half @ssed work.  There is some money, but in some cases it isn't being used efficiently by the (MTA).  There's also still a huge fare beating problem that the (MTA) is aware of but isn't addressing fully, which means that every time they raise the fares, the pain is only being spread among those that actually pay the fare.  That's another problem that isn't being looked at.... The more the fare goes up, how many people just won't pay, be it out of disgust or because they can't afford it?  I travel through quite a few poor neighborhoods in NYC and sometimes I'm one of the few people paying the fare, so while it may seem reasonable for some of us, it clearly isn't so reasonable for many other people, so I think a lot of things need to be examined to ensure that we don't drive people away from using the system either because the alternatives are on par or cheaper than public transit, or because public transit is out of reach.  The one thing that doesn't seem plausible is having a fare increase every two years.  The fare increases have risen much higher than the rate of inflation and are not sustainable.

I understand and like I said you have a point. This is an America issue. Name one major project in the US that isn't over cost?  4.5 Billion for what 2 miles with the SAS. When I was in London last you had the Crossrail cutting though central London $20 Billon get's you 70 miles of retrofitted line and 13 miles of new Tunnel and stations that are a marvel's in their own right. I remember when I started University back in 98 one of the major examples used by my Professor of what not to do was The Big Dig in Boston. behind and over cost Look at WMATA and what's going on down there. Let's not even go into the Water tunnels so this isn't new and it's not just NYC and MTA thing its a US thing. I can't understand it myself.

Edited by RailRunRob

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There aren't really any other ways to increase funding without legislation passed.

The gas tax could be increased or congestion pricing could be implemented (Move New York), or maybe some other idea. There aren't many ways to fund transit at the moment.

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There aren't really any other ways to increase funding without legislation passed.

The gas tax could be increased or congestion pricing could be implemented (Move New York), or maybe some other idea. There aren't many ways to fund transit at the moment.

 Transportation sales taxes

 

Los Angeles is the best example of a big city using this method and Atlanta has a bill on the table for this November.

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 Transportation sales taxes

 

Los Angeles is the best example of a big city using this method and Atlanta has a bill on the table for this November.

This has never came up on the agenda here in NY?

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 The city needs to take serious measures to address this issue, and the state also needs to intervene to see what can be done to curtail these ongoing hikes.

 

Remember when the New York State Senate and Assembly passed that "bailout" in 2010-2011? It included a provision requiring fare and toll increases every two years. It's enshrined in State Law. If your representatives were in office at that time, then they voted for the mandatory fare increases and have no business complaining now. 

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I'm sorry but the bus fares don't deserve to go up. The crappy bus service we have now isn't worth anywhere near $3.

 

I don't care if they have to raise the subway fare to $3.25 to offset a zero percent increase on bus fares, but the bus service has been miserable the last couple of years.

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I'm sorry but the bus fares don't deserve to go up. The crappy bus service we have now isn't worth anywhere near $3.

 

I don't care if they have to raise the subway fare to $3.25 to offset a zero percent increase on bus fares, but the bus service has been miserable the last couple of years.

 

The law requires a fare increase.

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It also doesn't help that Uber rides don't include the mass transit tax/surcharge that is included in yellow cab rides. 

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