Tapped In: MTA Fares; Catholic-School Closure; Riverside Development

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MTA FARES GOING UP The Metropolitan Transportation Authority unanimously voted to raise fares on the city's trains, buses, bridges and tunnels last Wednesday, Dec. 19. The new rates, which will go into effect in March, include a 25-cent increase on base subway and bus fares (up to $2.50), an $8 spike on 30-day MetroCards (to $112) and an extra $1 for a seven day pass (to $30). Bridge and tunnel tolls all will increase, many by 53 cents to $5.33 for E-ZPass holders and by $1 to $7.50 for cash users. Metro-North and Long Island Railroad fares, which vary by time and distance, will go up on average 8.19 to 9.31 percent per ticket. The bonus on pay-per-ride MetroCards also will decrease to 5 percent from 7 percent. A bonus will be applied to purchases of $5 or more, however, instead of the current $10 minimum. To determine the fare changes, MTA accepted feedback from customers on four different proposals for increases earlier in the year. The price hike is the authority's fourth in five years, and it is expected to generate $450 million annually. CATHOLIC-SCHOOL PARENTS HOPE TO PREVENT CLOSURE The parents of students at the Holy Name of Jesus school have begun a petition to prevent the school's closure next year. The elementary school, located at 202 W. 97th St., was one of 27 parochial schools that the Archdiocese of New York recently announced could be closed after the academic year is completed in June, due to diminishing enrollments and financial deficits. The Archdiocese has given its schools until early January to propose a plan to recoup losses, so Holy Name's parents are soliciting petitions from alumni and neighborhood residents to save the school, as well as trying to raise funds to cover the $400,000 needed to keep the school open for another year. "It's sad to see the archdiocese close its doors on a school that has been around for over 100 years," said Venus Trujillo, a mother of two children in the school. "Generations and generations of children have come here. Parents travel to bring their children here from the Bronx, Westchester, Queens and even New Jersey because they themselves came here and they want a good education for their children as well." She added, "Many parents are around during the morning and after school just trying to figure out what else we can do." Students at the school recently staged a holiday play called "Santa's Elf Esteem," and held their annual Christmas pageant last week. RIVERSIDE DEVELOPMENT DETAILS ANNOUNCED A development along Riverside Boulevard that will include apartments, a school, a movie theater and office and retail space broke ground earlier this month, and last week developer the Dermot Company released early details about the development's first building on West 61st Street. The 43-story building, whose address will be 21 W. End Ave., will house the development's school along with 616 rental apartments and 23,725 square feet of retail space. The four-story school will educate students from pre-kindergarten through 8th grade, and will include a gym, science laboratory and library. According to the announcement, residents in the building's luxury apartments will have access to "a 60-foot, custom-shaped swimming pool and separate hot tub, a 21,000-square-foot fitness center, a yoga and dance room, a private wine bar and lounge, a children's play area, a hobby room [and] a dog grooming area." The apartments will have floor-to-ceiling windows. In compliance with the New York State Housing Finance Agency's 80/20 program, 127 (20 percent) of the building's apartments will be low-income units. The developer expects the building to be completed in June 2015. The school, which is public, will open in 2016.

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