Just a short time ago, the MTA announced limited fare & toll proposals. Here are the details:
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today unveiled proposals to increase fares and tolls by 4% over the next two years. Despite rising operational costs, the MTA’s continued budget discipline and increased ridership allow the MTA to limit fare and toll increases to the equivalent of 2% a year.
“The MTA is keeping its promise to ensure fare and toll increases are as low as possible, and these options are designed to minimize their impact on our customers,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast. “We have cut more than $1 billion from our ongoing expenses, but a modest fare and toll increase is necessary to balance our budget against the increased costs of providing the bus, subway, railroad and paratransit service that is the backbone of the region’s mobility and economic growth.”
The new fare and toll proposals will be the subject of public hearings in December, and the MTA Board will review public input and may modify the proposals before voting on them in January 2015. They are scheduled to take effect in March 2015.
The MTA has cut $1.1 billion from its annual spending, with more cuts planned every year to bring annual savings to $1.5 billion by 2017. Fare and toll revenues cover only 52% of the MTA’s $13 billion operating budget. Following are details of the fare and toll options for each MTA service.
New York City Subway and Buses
The MTA offers several ways to pay for rides on subways, buses and the Staten Island Railway: Single Ride Tickets, Pay-Per-Ride MetroCards, Unlimited Ride MetroCards, and cash on buses only. Two alternative fare structures are being considered that treat the base fare and bonus structure differently. The base Pay-Per-Ride fare must increase in 25-cent increments, which limits the alternatives available and may also lead to proposed increases that are lower or higher than 4%. Changes to 7-Day and 30-Day Unlimited Ride MetroCards are the same in both proposals.
• In Proposal 1, the base fare increases by 25 cents, and the bonus amount is increased from 5% to 11% when putting $5.50 or more on a MetroCard.
• In Proposal 2, the base fare for cash, Single Ride Tickets and Pay-Per-Ride MetroCards remains unchanged, but the bonus for putting $5 or more on a MetroCard is eliminated.
• In both proposals, the cost of a 30-Day Unlimited Ride MetroCard increases by $4.50 and the cost of a 7-Day Unlimited Ride MetroCard by $1.
This table summarizes the changes.
Fare Type – Current – Proposal 1 – Proposal 2:
Base MetroCard Fare/ Local Bus Cash Fare – $2.50 – $2.75 – $2.50
Bonus – 5% with $5 purchase – 11% with $5.50 purchase – No Bonus
Effective Fare with Bonus – $2.38 – $2.48 – $2.50
Single Ride Ticket (base MetroCard/Cash Fare plus 25 cents) – $2.75 – $3.00 – $2.75
Express Bus Fare Cash – $6.00 – $6.50 – $6.00
Express Bus Fare MetroCard with Bonus – $5.71 – $5.86 – $6.00
30-Day MetroCard – $112 – $116.50 – $116.50
7-Day MetroCard – $30.00 – $31.00 – $31.00
7-Day Express Bus Plus MetroCard – $55.00 – $57.25 – $57.25
Access-a-Ride Fare – $2.50 – $2.75 – $2.50
Note: The $1 fee for purchasing a new MetroCard would remain unchanged.
Bonus Pay-Per-Ride MetroCards are used for 43% of New York City Transit trips. In Proposal 1 the price of these trips increases 4.1%. In Proposal 2 the price increases 5.0%.
30-Day Unlimited Ride MetroCards are used for 29% of trips and would increase 4% under both proposals. 7-Day Unlimited Ride MetroCards are used for 21% of trips and would increase 3.3% under both proposals.
Non-bonus MetroCards and cash on buses are used for 6% of trips. Single Ride Tickets are used for less than 1% of trips and appear to largely be purchased near major tourist destinations. These prices would increase by 25 cents or remain unchanged.
Additional details will be 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 off-peak 10-trip, weekly and monthly unlimited-ride tickets.
As is the case with the proposed New York City Transit increases, some proposed increases would be lower or higher than 4%, because fare changes must occur in 25-cent increments. However, any increase of more than 6% would result in a fare increase of no more than 50 cents per trip.
The MTA is proposing fare increases between 2.2% and 6.1% for tickets to and from Zone 1 on LIRR; to and from Manhattan on Metro-North East-of-Hudson service; and to and from Hoboken/Secaucus Junction on Metro-North West-of-Hudson service.
All monthly and weekly fares would increase less than 4.25%, and fares on more than 80% of all trips would increase less than 4.25%.
The cost of a City Ticket would increase by 25 cents, and policies regarding the calculation of onboard fares and refunds would remain unchanged. Fare increases for travel to/from or within Connecticut, which have previously been adopted by the State of Connecticut, are scheduled to be implemented separately in January 2015.
Charts outlining the proposed prices for specific stations and types of tickets will be available at www.mta.info.
MTA Bridges and Tunnels
The MTA proposes to increase car tolls for New York Customer Service Center (NYCSC) E-ZPass customers by 4%, which is equivalent to 21 cents at major crossings like the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge and the Queens Midtown Tunnel. Approximately 71% of MTA Bridges and Tunnels crossings are made by cars with an NYCSC E-ZPass.
For other customers, two alternative toll structures are under consideration:
• In Proposal 1, truck tolls for NYCSC E-ZPass customers would increase 4%. Car tolls would increase by 6.7% to 10% for cash, Tolls by Mail and non-NYCSC E-ZPass customers. This proposal is consistent with MTA’s policy of increasing the differential price between E-ZPass and cash to encourage E-ZPass use, which reduces wait times on the crossings. Truck tolls paid with cash and non-NYCSC E-ZPasses would increase by 6.4% to 8.3%.
• In Proposal 2, car tolls would remain at current levels for cash, Tolls by Mail and non-NYCSC E-ZPass customers. Two-axle truck tolls for NYCSC E-ZPass customers would increase 12%, which at major crossings is 77 cents more than in Proposal 1. Truck tolls paid with cash and non-NYCSC E-ZPasses would increase by 6.4% to 8.3%. By not increasing cash tolls, this proposal mitigates the higher increases experienced by cash customers since 2009 while still maintaining a significant price differential between E-ZPass and cash.
Significant discounts are already available to customers who use E-ZPasses issued by the NYCSC, which serves the MTA, the New York State Thruway Authority and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. MTA Bridges and Tunnels also offers substantial discounts to residents of Staten Island and the Rockaways.
Crossing – Current – Proposal 1 – Proposal 2
Robert F. Kennedy Bridge / Throgs Neck Bridge/ Bronx-Whitestone Bridge / Hugh L. Carey Tunnel / Queens Midtown Tunnel
Car Cash – $7.50 – $8.00 – $7.50
Car NYCSC E-ZPass – $5.33 – $5.54 – $5.54
Truck-2 Axle Cash – $15.00 – $16.00 – $16.00
Truck-2 Axle NYCSC E-ZPass – $9.62 – $10.00 – $10.77
Truck-5 Axle Cash – $40.00 – $43.00 – $43.00
Truck-5 Axle NYCSC E-ZPass – $26.26 – $27.31 – $29.41
Verrazano-Narrows Bridge (Toll collected in one direction only)
Car Cash – $15.00 – $16.00 – $15.00
Car NYCSC E-ZPass Toll – $10.66 – $11.08 – $11.08
Staten Island Resident E-ZPass >2 Trips/Month – $6.00 – $6.24 – $6.24
Staten Island Resident E-ZPass <3 Trips/Month - $6.36 - $6.60 - $6.60 Staten Island Resident Token - $8.53 - $8.86 - $8.53 Truck-2 Axle Cash - $30.00 - $32.00 - $32.00 Truck-2 Axle NYCSC E-ZPass - $19.24 - $20.00 - $21.54 Truck-5 Axle Cash - $80.00 - $86.00 - $86.00 Truck-5 Axle NYCSC E-ZPass - $52.52 - $54.62 - $58.82 Henry Hudson Bridge Car Tolls By Mail/Non-NYCSC E-ZPass Toll - $5.00 - $5.50 - $5.00 Car NYCSC E-ZPass Toll - $2.44 - $2.54 - $2.54 Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge / Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge Car Cash - $3.75 - $4.00 - $3.75 Minor Token - $2.50 - $2.67 - $2.50 Car NYCSC E-ZPass Toll - $2.00 - $2.08 - $2.08 Rockaway Resident Token - $1.79 - $1.86 - $1.79 Rockaway Resident E-ZPass Toll - $1.31 - $1.36 - $1.36 Truck-2 Axle Cash - $7.50 - $8.00 - $8.00 Truck-2 Axle NYCSC E-ZPass Toll - 4.81 - $5.00 - $5.39 Truck-5 Axle Cash - $20.00 - $21.50 - $21.50 Truck-5 Axle NYCSC E-ZPass Toll - $13.13 - $13.66 - $14.71 Public Review Process
The MTA’s public review process will enable MTA Board members to receive testimony delivered at eight public hearings throughout the MTA’s service territory, through written statements accepted via email and regular mail, and through transcripts of videotaped public comments.
There will be one public hearing in each of the five boroughs of New York City, and one each on Long Island and in the northern suburbs east and west of the Hudson River. The hearings will be held at fully ADA-accessible locations until the scheduled ending time or all registered speakers have spoken, whichever is later. Members of the public can register to speak in advance by calling (646) 252-6777 between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. To enable all members of the public to testify, the MTA asks that all remarks be kept to three minutes or less.
The dates and locations of the hearings are as follows.
Monday, December 1, 2014:
• Manhattan – Baruch College, Baruch Performing Arts Center, Mason Hall, 17 Lexington Ave. at 23rd Street, New York, NY. Registration period is open from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Hearing begins at 5 p.m.
• Bronx – Hostos Community College, 450 Grand Concourse at 149th Street, Bronx, NY. Registration period is open from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Hearing begins at 5 p.m.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014:
• Westchester – New York State Power Authority, Jaguar Room, 123 Main St., White Plains, NY. Registration period is open from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Hearing begins at 5 p.m.
Wednesday, December 3, 3014:
• Long Island – Hilton Long Island/Huntington, Salon C & D, 598 Broad Hollow Road, Melville, NY. Registration period is open from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Hearing begins at 5 p.m.
• Queens – The Milton G. Bassin Performing Arts Center at York College, Main Stage Theater, 94-20 Guy R. Brewer Blvd, Jamaica, NY. Registration period is open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Hearing begins at 6 p.m.
Monday, December 8, 2014:
• West of Hudson – Palisades Center, Adler & Besso Community Rooms, 4th Floor, 1000 Palisades Center Drive, West Nyack, NY. Registration period is open from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Hearing begins at 5 p.m.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014:
• Staten Island – College of Staten Island, Center for the Arts, Springer Concert Hall, 2800 Victory Boulevard, Staten Island, NY. Registration period is open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Hearing begins at 6 p.m.
Thursday, December 11, 2014:
• Brooklyn – Walt Whitman Theater at Brooklyn College, 2900 Campus Road (near the junction of Nostrand Avenue and Avenue H), Brooklyn, NY. Registration period is open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Hearing begins at 6 p.m.
Members of the public who wish to record a videotaped comment can visit the following MTA facilities at the listed times. All comments will be transcribed and made part of the permanent record of these hearings. Please note there is a 3-minute time limit for each individual’s videotaped session, and there will be no question-and-answer period.
NYC Transit Headquarters, 3 Stone St., Manhattan
Thursday, December 4, 2014, 9 a.m. – noon
LIRR Hicksville Station
Thursday, December 4, 2014, 6 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Metro-North Poughkeepsie Station
Tuesday, December 9, 2014, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
LIRR Ronkonkoma Station
Tuesday, December 9, 2014, 6 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Comments can also be submitted via email through our website at http://www.mta.info or by letter to MTA Government Affairs, 347 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10017.
It seems inevitable that fares will once again rise as I doubt any outcry from the public will change that, when has it ever really?
xoxo Transit Blogger