MTA 2017 Budget Likely to Call for Hiking Fares to $3

NEW YORK -
Miniature New York City buses are lined up on a table in New York. (Flickr/King Of All Buses)
Miniature New York City buses are lined up on a table in New York. (Flickr/King Of All Buses)

The $3 subway ride could be coming to New York next year.

The MTA on Wednesday released their financial plan for 2017, and it includes an all-but-certain fare hike. This would raise more than $300 million a year for the struggling transit system, the largest in the nation.

The MTA did not explain how they plan on coming up with the money, whether by tweaking MetroCard fares or hiking commuter rail prices as well as bridge and tunnel tolls. But in previous years they have ended up hiking the base fare, which currently is at $2.75. Raising the price of an unlimited ride MetroCard is also on the table.

“Usually, in all of these options, the MTA is careful to ensure that everyone has some sort of shared pain here when it comes to a fare increase,” Jamison Dague, the director of infrastructure studies for the nonprofit Citizens Budget Commission, told the Daily News.

MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast stressed that the fare hike is part of an initial budget projection, which could change by November, when the final numbers are run. “That’s different than a, ‘Yes we’re going to have a fare increase,’” Prendergast said.

But MTA finance chief Bob Foran told board members Wednesday that fare increases “need to be pursued.”