The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) this week unveiled two options for needed increase to fares and tolls over the next two years by less than 4 percent – or an average of 2 percent annually, consistent with the financial forecast made in July. The MTA’s continued discipline in keeping costs down has resulted in the lowest increase since 2009, when the MTA committed to a biennial schedule to keep adjustments as small and predictable as possible.
Just over half of the MTA’s $15.6 billion annual operating budget comes from fares and tolls. Yet the MTA has achieved nearly $1.8 billion in 2016 annual savings, with more cost cutting planned every year to hold increases to a minimum.
“The MTA continues to keep its promise to make sure that fare and toll increases, while necessary to keep our system running, remain as low and possible and that they are done in as equitable a way as possible,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast. “Fare and toll revenue cover just 51 percent the operating budget, which is why this modest increase is needed to ensure that subway, rail, bus and paratransit services continue operate safely and reliably and to fuel the region’s economic and financial growth.”
The proposals will be the subject of eight public hearings across the MTA region in December. The MTA Board will review public input before a final proposal is selected and voted on by the full Board in January. The new fares and tolls will take effect on March 19, 2017.
The following are details of the fare and toll options for each MTA service. Both options generate approximately the same revenue for the MTA.
New York City Subway and Buses
The MTA offers several ways to pay for rides on subways, buses and the Staten Island Railway. Two fare structures are being considered that treat the base fare and bonus rides differently, however changes to 7-day and 30-day unlimited ride MetroCards are the same in both proposals.
Proposed changes are as follows:
Note: $1 fee for purchasing a new MetroCard remains unchanged.
Additional details are available at www.mta.info.
Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad
Fares to ride the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad are based on the distance traveled and are lower during less busy, off-peak times. Significant discounts are available from the one-way and round-trip price by purchasing 10-trip off-peak tickets and weekly and monthly unlimited-ride tickets.
For regular commuters – those using monthly and weekly tickets – the proposed increase is capped at 3.75 percent; monthly ticket increases are capped at a maximum of $15 for the longest trips; weekly ticket increases are capped at a maximum of $6.75 for the longest trips.
Other riders would see a fare increase of 4 percent or lower; however, because increases must occur in 25-cent increments, some single-trip rides would increase by as much as 6 percent (but by no more than 50 cents.)
Fares for travel to, from or within Connecticut are not affected by this proposal. (A Connecticut fare increase is scheduled to be implemented separately on December 1, 2016.)
Charts outlining the proposed prices for specific stations and types of tickets will be available at www.mta.info.
MTA Bridges and Tunnels
Proposed increases for car tolls for New York Customer Service Center (NYCSC) E-ZPass holders will increase by 4 percent or less. MTA Bridges and Tunnels also offers substantial discounts to residents of Staten Island and the Rockaways.
For non-E-ZPass users, increases are higher in order to encourage drivers to use it and in order to reduce congestion in advance of cashless tolling coming to bridges and tunnels.
Public Review Process
Thursday, December 15, 2016:
- Rockland County– Crowne Plaza Suffern, Montebello Ballroom, 3 Executive Blvd, Suffern, NY. Registration period is open from 4 to 8 p.m. Hearing begins at 5 p.m.
- By Metro-North: from Hoboken Terminal New Jersey to Suffern Station where taxi service is available