Tapped In: MTA; River Ferry Service; Endorsement; Red Hook

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Compiled by Jessica Mastronardi and Paul Bisceglio MTA TO RAISE FARES 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. CITY SEEKS TO EXTEND EAST RIVER FERRY SERVICE Major Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and NYC Economic Development Corp. President Seth Pinsky announced their search for a long-term operator for the East River Ferry service. Launched in June 2011, the ferry this year already surpassed its projected 1.3 million passengers for the entirety of its three-year pilot program. According to Bloomberg, "We now have the opportunity to build upon this success and sustain this essential part of our transportation vision well into the future. Expanding transportation options along the waterfront will better serve communities and spur new housing and economic development." A major success of this service was proven in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, in that it was one of the first forms of mass transportation that got back on its feet. "This ferry has not only proved to be a reliable and efficient form of transportation in a time of crisis, but New Yorkers also really love taking it the rest of the year," Quinn said. BillyBey Ferry Co. operated the ferry for the pilot program, which will expire in June 2014. The new Request for Proposals seeks an operator to maintain, improve and possibly expand this system for the following five years. Responses to the request will be collected through March 2013. KRUEGER ENDORSES LAPPIN FOR BOROUGH PRESIDENT Last week, state Sen. Liz Krueger has announced her endorsement of Jessica Lappin in the Democratic primary of Manhattan borough president for next year. Krueger, who noted that she had worked with Lappin for almost 10 years, said she had no doubt about Lappin's ability to lead and make a difference. "She shares my commitment to reform and has a proven record getting results for all New Yorkers," Krueger said, listing results such as limited power of big money, three new Manhattan waterfronts, regulation of crisis pregnancy centers and the building of additional schools. Lappin, in turn, praised Krueger for her tenacity. "I am equal parts excited and honored to have Liz's support in my campaign for borough president," she said. "No one has done more to advance the cause of reform and good government in New York over the past decade than she has." RED HOOK WORKERS STAFF NEW FAIRWAY IN KIPS BAY Workers from the Hurricane Sandy-ravaged branch of Fairway Market in Red Hook relocated to Manhattan last week to staff the company's newly opened grocery store in Kips Bay. The Red Hook branch, which is right on the water in Brooklyn, remains temporarily closed, and the company has been working to place workers in its other locations and provide free shuttle services to transport them there. The new 40,119-square-foot branch, located in the Kips Bay Shopping Center at 550 Second Ave. (at East 30th Street), is the market's fourth Manhattan store, and 12th overall. The market has opened nine of its locations in the past six years.

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