NYC subway and bus fares may be going up soon

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority plans to raise its fares and tolls in late August as the largest US transit provider looks to collect more revenue to help close budget deficits.

The MTA, which runs New York City’s transit network, is considering raising the cost of a subway or bus ride to $2.90, up from $2.75. A seven-day unlimited pass will cost $1 more than $34, according to details presented Monday to MTA board members during a finance committee meeting.

Commuter rail fares will increase by 4.6%, with monthly passes costing no more than $500.

The farebox increase is the first since 2019 because the MTA avoided raising fees during the pandemic. Toll crossings increase by as much as 10% without E-ZPass or as much as 7% with E-ZPass.

“It’s something we really don’t want to do, but it has to be done because that’s what organizations like ours do,” Neal Zuckerman, who chairs the finance committee, said at the meeting about the expected increase. of fare and toll.

The MTA expects the new fees to bring in $305 million in additional revenue annually. It needs more money because ridership has not yet matched pre-pandemic levels. Weekday subway ridership is about 70% of what it was in 2019. Ridership systemwide could only reach 80% of pre-pandemic usage by the end of 2026, the MTA estimates.

The MTA expects to hold public hearings in June on the fare increase, with the agency’s board likely to vote on the increase in July. Drivers and riders may begin paying higher tolls and fares in late August, Jai Patel, the MTA’s deputy chief financial officer, said during the meeting.

State lawmakers last month agreed increasing the payroll tax on the city’s largest businesses to raise $1.1 billion annually for the MTA and direct a one-time $300 million grant to the agency. That additional revenue along with fare and toll increases and $400 million in annual operating efficiencies will help address the budget. gaps which is expected to grow to $3 billion by 2025.

The transit agency also would begin accepting by 2026 up to $700 million a year in gaming revenue from three potential downstate casino developments.

“This region is very fortunate to have a transportation system like we have and we’re not going to let it go down,” Andrew Albert, an MTA board member, said at the meeting. “We have to continue this. We need to improve the service.”

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