The MTA Just Likes to Mess With Us, Right?


The MTA has us exactly where it wants us. Basically, we are all slaves to its whims. We are in a sick, twisted relationship with the MTA because we need it and it knows that we’re not going anywhere. So it taunts us by changing our Metrocards into advertisements for a national chain store that has been irrelevant to the NYC fashion scene since it made those awesome aquamarine-striped shrunken polo shirts that were the ultimate thing to wear in middle school back in the late ’90s. Oh, Gap, you’ve fallen so far and so hard.

So what exactly is the MTA cooking up now to make us feel even more like we’re in an abusive relationship? Well, The Daily News reports that the MTA is considering, among other things, raising the fare of the unlimited monthly card from $104 to $125! That is more than a 20% increase! That’s insane.

Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign points out, “If these higher fares go through, there will have been four subway and bus fare hikes in five years.” How can the MTA even justify that? Well, prepare to be even more frustrated! The way that they justify the fare hike is by pointing out that “the price of a movie ticket has risen 65%, the taxi fare has increased 70%, a gallon of milk is up 177% and a playoff ticket for the bleachers in Yankee Stadium is up 209%.”

Oh, really, MTA? You’re going to point to the things that pretty much EVERYONE acknowledges cost way more than they are worth, like freaking Yankees bleacher seats, and say that this is why it’s okay to raise fare prices? That is so insulting. Just because we live in the most expensive city in the country, it does not mean that everyone can afford to pay stratospheric prices for every little thing. Especially things that are necessities. A taxi is not a necessity, movies are not necessities, Yankees tickets are not necessities. But getting from one place to another in order to, you know, go to work, is a necessity. And these constant fare increases are hurting the people who absolutely can’t afford to lose their jobs, but soon might not even be able to afford to get to them.

And I swear, if the next advertisement partnership involves Abercrombie and Fitch and the Metrocards wind up horribly scented and, I don’t know, implanted with microchips that start playing a thumping house beat every time I swipe them, I am going to DEMAND a return to tokens.

Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen


  1. Also? I can’t speak to the other prices off the top of my head, but their “price of a movie ticket has risen 65%” thing is ENTIRELY inaccurate, unless they’re stretching back more than a decade. Movie tickets at AMC and Regal chains cost $14. A price that has risen 65% to arrive at $14 started at $8.50. When were movie tickets $8.50 in Manhattan? When I moved here in 2002, they were starting to inch above $10, and when I visited here during college, they were well over $9. So they were $8.50 when, exactly? 1997, maybe? Fifteen years ago?

    Of course, as Kristin points out, if a movie-ticket rate of inflation is your guidepost, you’re already doing things pretty wrong anyway — and it’s not as if a movie ticket price going up 65% in fifteen years is fair, either. But it’s fuck-all to do with the fourth MTA fare increase in five years.

  2. Another reason to try to work from home as much as possible. For those of us doing the calculus involving coming out even marginally ahead after factoring in childcare expenses, the increase in travel costs may not even make working worth the trouble. How sad.


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