When I last discussed the fare hike, I was writing about how Gov. Spitzer came to the rescue & helped keep the base fare at $2. Unfortunately the problem with his “heroic” effort was that it benefited a minority of riders, 14% to be more accurate. The other 86% of riders were going to feel the brunt of the fare hike since they are smart enough to take advantage of the tremendous discounts offered. Well the harsh reality is starting to set in on what we the 86% will face in terms of a fare hike.
The MTA announced yesterday that the average cost of commuter rail tickets, tolls at the city’s bridges & tunnels will jump by an average of 3.85%. This is a change from what was originally expected to be an average 6.5% increase in the same costs. How about the 86% of base riders who do not pay the base far you ask? Well get ready to shell out some more cash for that trusty discounted or unlimited Metrocard.
While details have yet to be released on the actual costs in the new plan that is expected to kick in at the beginning of March 2008, it doesn’t take rocket science to know the cards will see a significant increase. How could they not see such an increase when the base fares are scheduled to stay at $2 for the foreseeable future? I can imagine having to shell out $85-$90 for a monthly soon which will be a pain in the ass!
So in the end it truly was a slick P.R. maneuver on the part of Gov. Spitzer. He comes out like a heroic winner, the MTA still imposes some sort of a fare hike, & the majority of riders are left out in the rain with no umbrella. If we were actually given superior service & facilities to the best level possible with our resources, I would fully support a fare hike.
Unfortunately I can’t fully support a fare hike until I see some results. We as riders have put up with years of inferior service & facilities although improved from the real bad times but far from where it should be. When we actually get to where we should be, I’ll be the first one standing & applauding. Maybe this new regime will get the job done over time but an immediate fare hike is a very tough pill to swallow from a population of riders who expect the worst.
In the end all I can hope for as far as this fare hike is concerned is to not see the costs of unlimited cards skyrocket too much! I better put that at the top of my wish list & fire it off to the North Pole! I am counting on Santa Claus to come through for me as well as my fellow riders!
xoxo Transit Blogger