Cleaner Maybe, Definitely More Expensive: MTA Announces Fare Hikes

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After yesterday’s short sigh of relief—caused by a report on MTA’s [improved subway cleanliness]—NYC’s commuting faces are bound to return to their usual frowns. MTA officials have finally revealed its long-predicted [plan to increase fares]( and toll revenues by 6.5 percent, hoping to boost the corporation’s ailing budget by $325 million a year.

If distributed equally, the increase will step up the price of a monthly Metrocard from $76 to $81 and the price of a weekly card from $24 to $25.50. It is not as steep a hike as the one implemented in February 2005, when the weekly card jumped 14 percent overnight, but it is guaranteed to vex ill-tempered commuters.

According to the MTA, the accrual is justified by an [$800 million deficit] that will swell up to 1.8 billion by 2010. Although most of it will be covered by tax revenues, officials say they will need more—a sentiment that even the Straphangers Campaign, the public transportation watchdog that came out with yesterday’s cleanliness poll, agrees with.

Besides mending MTA’s pockets, the plan also promises to improve service, such as by beefing up security and stretching a bus line from Staten Island to Bayonne. Hopefully, the joy of visiting New Jersey will outweigh the extra 6 bucks a month.

Photo courtesy of [Maulleigh on Flickr]

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