Years ago when monthly MetroCard users like myself were getting the best bang for our commuting buck, we would have never thought the day would come that we would have to pay over $100 for a unlimited monthly. However the times have changed & as usual the riders will be forced to shoulder the burden of the cost. The Independent Budget Office (IBO) at the request of the Straphangers Campaign released a report about the MTA’s finances & what the cost would be to riders. The Straphangers Campaign issued a press release to talk about the report:
The NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign today released an analysis of the possible impact of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s troubled finances on subway, bus and commuter fares. The review was conducted by the New York City Independent Budget Office at the request of the Straphangers Campaign.
The IBO forecast that under the MTA’s current financial plan, the base city subway and bus fare could rise to “at least” $2.50 in 2009 from $2.00 currently. The cost of a 30-day unlimited MetroCard could jump to $104 from the current $81 and the 7-day MetroCard could rise to $32 from the current $25.
The MTA’s financial plan calls for a 23% greater yield from revenues coming from the farebox. The IBO calculated that this would in turn require an actual 28% increase in fares including the base fare and all fare discounts. The higher percentage increase calculated by the IBO takes account of likely loss of ridership due to the fare hike.
Unlimited-ride MetroCards account for 50% of all trips, according to the MTA. 32% of trips are taken on 30-day MetroCards; 7-day MetroCards account for 15.5% of all trips.
“Transit fares will go through the roof and service through the floor unless Governor Paterson and state legislative leaders come to the rescue of transit riders,” said Gene Russianoff, staff attorney for the Straphangers Campaign.
Click here for the complete press release.
Click here for the IBO’s initial report to the Straphangers Campaign. (PDF)
Click here for a followup to the Straphangers Campaign by the IBO.
I know a fare hike is coming but the thought of paying over $100 for an unlimited monthly is tough. While the value is still there for a very active commuter, it sure is not a welcome sight considering everything else is going up except the most important thing, income!
xoxo Transit Blogger