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Transit Advocates And Elected Officials Call On MTA To Stop Fare Hike


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Transit Advocates And Elected Officials Call On MTA To Stop Fare Hike

NY1 News

October 18, 2007


[float=right]252933.jpg[/float]Blaming the MTA’s cash crunch on the state legislature, a group of state lawmakers are asking the agency to put the brakes on plans for a fare hike, at least temporarily.


They say lawmakers have failed to properly fund the MTA over the past 10 to 15 years. Today they gathered to ask MTA head Eliott "Lee" Sander to hold off on raising fares until at least next April, once a new state budget has been passed.


"The burden in the end is on our shoulders, not on Lee Sander’s shoulders,” said state Assemblyman Richard Brodsky of Westchester. “We have to be persuasive with our colleagues, with the Senate, with the governor and get the money down here to save the fare.”


"Our legislators are saying, ‘Wait a minute, give us the chance to come up with the money that the Transit Authority and the MTA deserve. Give us a chance first before you turn and look at straphangers and ask them to dig deeper,’” said City Comptroller Bill Thompson.


The fare hike, as proposed by the MTA, would take one of two forms. Under option one, a single ride would go up to $2.25. But, those who have at least $6 on their MetroCard would qualify for a peak/off-peak discount: $2 at peak hours, a $1.50 off-peak. Meanwhile, weekly unlimited-ride MetroCards would go up to $26, a monthly to $81, and a new 14-day MetroCard would cost $48.


Under option two, a single ride would also go up to $2.25 but riders would still get a 20 percent bonus by putting $10 or more on their cards, which works out to about $1.88 per ride. A weekly pass would cost $25, a monthly $79, and the 14-day MetroCard $45.


In response to the lawmaker's news conference, the MTA said it is already counting on $2 billion in state aid, including an additional $400 million next year, as well as funding from the fare and toll hikes.


The agency also said: "Failure to receive either the anticipated state aid or the fare increase will require a more drastic increase and unacceptable service cuts starting in 2009."


Public hearings on the proposed hike will start November 5th.


The MTA board then plans to vote on the increase in December, with the hike scheduled to go into effect in February or March of next year.

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