Get ready to pay a bit more for public transit.
The MTA board finalized their plan to increase MetroCard fares and bridge tolls today, settling on an option that will raise base subway fares but keep bonuses for putting more money on a card. Starting March 22, a single ride MetroCard will increase by a 25 cents, from $2.50 to $2.75. The bonuses for buying a card will increase to 11 percent for every $5.50 spent— currently we get an extra 5 percent for every $5 we put on the card.
The approved fare increase will affect unlimited MetroCards as well: the price of a weekly card will increase from $30 to $31, and a monthly card is now going to cost $116.50, up from $112.
Bridge and tunnel commuters won't be spared, either. E-ZPass tolls for cars and truck drivers will increase 4 percent, and tolls on the Verrazano Narrows Bridge will go up from $15 to $16 for cash drivers and from $10.66 to $11.08 for E-ZPass users.
The worst part? In 2017, the MTA is expected to increase fares by another 4 percent. Hopefully, that extra money will go towards building that LaGuardia Airport rail link.
Although the increases were anticipated (the question today was which fare hike option the MTA would choose, not whether prices would rise), commuter advocacy groups still expressed concern. "If Governor Cuomo and members of the legislature don't decide on new revenue sources to fund the MTA's five-year capital plan, larger fare increases are lurking around the corner," said John Raskin, the Executive Director of the Riders Alliance in a statement. "Paying for public transit with fare hikes is a regressive way to fund a public service that the entire region relies on."