MTA Increasing MetroCard Costs, Bridge and Tunnel Tolls

NEW YORK -
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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Board voted Wednesday on a host of fare and toll hikes that the agency expects will raise an additional $336 million annually.

The base fare for subway and bus rides remains $2.75, but the 5-percent bonus for multi-fare MetroCards is eliminated. Single ride cards remain at $3.

The cost of a 30-day MetroCard will rise from $121 to $127, and a 7-day card will go from $32 to $33.

Fares on express buses will rise from $6.50 to $6.75. The 7-Day Express Bus Plus MetroCard will increase from $59.50 to $62.

For Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad riders, one-way tickets are generally increasing by 4 percent; some rides will see increases above 6 percent, but no more than 50 cents. Weekly tickets will rise as much as $5.75, and monthly tickets will rise as much as $15. The $460 monthly tickets will not be increasing. There are no fare increases for Metro-North’s Pascack Valley Line and Port Jervis Line, which are operated through a contract with NJ Transit.

Toll prices for cars with E-Z pass will increase by 6 percent at MTA bridges and tunnels. For drivers without E-Z Pass, tolls will rise by 11.8 percent.

The Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge toll rises from $17 to $19 for non-E-Z pass holders, and from $11.52 to $12.24 for E-Z Pass holders.

The E-Z Pass fare for Staten Island residents will be $6.88 for those who take at least three trips per month, and $7.26 for those who take no more than two.

The new tolls will take effect on March 31, and the new fares on April 21.

The agency on Sunday released data showing improved transit performance — weekday on-time performance in January 2019 was 76.7 percent, compared to 58.1 percent in January 2018 — but said it is “in a dire financial position, with an operating budget deficit of approximately $500 million as early as next year, growing to nearly $1 billion by 2022.”

Wednesday’s vote to raise fares and tolls came a day after Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo reached an agreement on Manhattan congestion pricing.

MTA Acting Chair Fernando Ferrer said the hikes are “critically important to the MTA” but “not enough to allow us to fund our capital plan or close our operating deficit.”

“We’ve seen dramatically improved performance of our system recently and in order to keep that up we are making major internal reforms, seeking additional recurring revenues from our state and city partners, and urging the legislature to pass the governor’s congestion pricing proposal,” Ferrer said.

To help close the budget gap, the MTA also announced cost-reduction proposals Wednesday. These include requiring each of its divisions — New York City Transit, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North, MTA Bridges and Tunnels, and MTA headquarters — to “identify $500 million in annually recurring savings”; reducing vendors’ and contractors’ hourly rates by 10 percent; consolidating back-office functions; and increasing steps to combat fare evasion, which the agency estimates costs it $215 million annually.

rborchardt@hamodia.com


Updated Wednesday, February 27, 2019 at 3:59 pm .