Have you gotten used to the fact that a subway ride costs $2.75 now? And a monthly MetroCard is $116.50? Neither have we. But no need to get too comfortable with those numbers anyway, there’s a pretty decent chance they’ll be going up again sooner than you’d think. What a town.
The Daily News reports that the MTA is threatening that “millions of commuters could soon get hit with a 15% fare and toll hike if the state legislature doesn’t bail out the debt-ridden agency… [because] the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s $32 billion, five-year capital budget plan to pay for serious fixes and updates is only half-funded.” Transit officials further warn, “If the agency has to borrow funds to cover the full cost, riders could be the ones footing the bill.”
So what does that mean for the average commuter who is still coming to terms with the already big increase in the cost of a MetroCard? Well, it could mean that within the next couple of years there will be a “potential 15% spike in subway fares could cause a monthly MetroCard, now $116.50, to rise to $134 and single rides to jump from $2.75 to as high as $3.15.”
At this point, the fare hikes are just conjecture and should be taken with a healthy dose of skepticism because, after all, this is ultimately New York State politics we’re talking about here, and New York State politics are corrupt as all hell and centered around the kind of posturing that serves mostly to scare-monger and elevate the public position of those doing the most grandstanding.
And yet: It’s still pretty ridiculous that public transportation costs continue to be a political football in this city and state. There must be more creative ways for easing the debt of the MTA—ways that do not involve picking the pockets of mass transit users. What about those long talked about tolls on the East River bridges? What about increasing the already existing tolls for cars entering the city—particularly during rush hour? What about doing literally anything other than further penalizing the people of this city who take the subway and the bus, many of whom can not easily handle another 15% rise in one of their necessary monthly expenditures? Now that’s something I’d be interested in hearing MTA and state officials talking about. Well, that, and news about why there are no G trains at this station.