Well this is the case according to an MTA spokesman. According to this spokesman, the Metrocard Vending Machine’s change limitations are partially to blame for the proposed hike being a quarter. The Metrocard machines are only capable of giving change in quarters & dollar coins. Since this is the case, the minimum fare hike would have to be at least a quarter.
According to MTA chief Elliot Sander, the limitations of the MVM’s were not the primary factor in the proposed hike being a quarter. He said “We’re not saying that it wasn’t a factor, What I’m saying is that it was not the primary factor.” According to him the machines could have been fixed if the hike was not a quarter. MTA Chief Financial Officer Gary Dellaverson said “it was an aspect of the consideration, but $2.10 was considered.”
The MTA says that the proposed quarter fare hike would only be matching inflation since 2003 which is when the base fares were last raised. Supposedly if they increased the base fare by anything less than a quarter, they would be forced to increase the cost of unlimited weekly & monthly Metrocards. According to the MTA, only 14% of riders pay the full $2 per ride & that percentage is expected to decrease under both fare hike proposals.
I do wonder what kind of fare increases we will see when they phase out Metrocards. The MTA is already looking into new technology to do just that. They are mainly focusing on smart cards which enable riders to tap or wave the card near a sensor. Last summer Citibank sponsored a smart card pilot program which enabled Citibank Mastercard holders to use their credit card or a key fob in place of a MetroCard at approximately 30 stations.
Leave it to the MTA to even partially use a machine as a scapegoat for their fare hike. How about taking some responsibility for poorly handling your finances & letting yourselves be screwed out of funding from the local to the federal governments!