Ready for some really no good, very bad, pretty terrible and ultimately expensive news? The MTA, which is already planning to raise fares four percent this March, is looking to fill a $15 billion budget gap. Should they decide to borrow money to fill that hole? Well, your commute to work just got a whole lot more expensive.
According to a report released by the state controller (and reported by the Daily News), in order to cover that money just through loans, the MTA would have to hike fares and tolls 15 percent. It’s unclear, of course, where exactly the MTA would choose to hike the fares. But if there’s an across the board increase, that translates to per-swipe fees on subway cards rising to $2.90, and 30-day monthy cards going from $112 to $129.
The rent is too damn high. The cost of a subway swipe? About to be too damn high, if these projections are accurate. But don’t start gnashing teeth and moving to Omaha just yet. Should Andrew Cuomo’s future discussions about MTA funding hold good news for once, it’s possible that some of that gap would be covered by finagling state money. It’s not the greatest bet, but it’s there. (Our suggestion? Maybe don’t install giant iPads for no reason!) In the meantime, savor the relatively cheap subway fares as they are now. No matter what, we’re betting eventually those prices are going to head upwards.