The MTA is maybe, possibly thinking about making your MetroCard even more expensive by doing away with its longstanding discount that knocks 7% off the price of any pay-per-ride card worth $10 or more.
“Do we really need to give that level of a discount,” said the MTA’s chairman Joseph J. Lhota, calling the discount an outdated throwback, leftover from the days when riders received a “volume discount” on bulk purchase of tokens.
Before we monger too much fear, though, it doesn’t seem likely that moves will actually be made to eliminiate the discount any time soon, and Lhota pointed out that if it were to be overturned, the effect would likely be to minimize planned increases over the next few months in single-ride fares and the cost of unlimited ride cards.
All told, the MTA is looking to generate $450 million in revenue with the upcoming changes, and the dispute mainly lies in how, exactly, to extract this money out of you, the ridership.
“There’s a fairness issue,” said a lawyer for rider advocacy group the Straphangers Campaign, noting that riders benefitting from a discount on cards in the $10 price range wouldn’t necessarily be able to afford the month-long unlimited ride card, which costs 10 times as much.
For now, we just have to hold our breath, enjoying our expensive-but-not-as-expensive-as-they-could-be MetroCards and 16-ounce sodas and waiting for “The Man” to tell us how he will “ruin our lives” next. Increasing the drinking age to 30, perhaps?
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.