New MTA Fare Intensifies Already Stressful Travel Experience
By Emily Zoda
The MTA raised the cost of transportation by a quarter, making the current cost of a ride on the bus and train $2.75 and an express bus $6.50 on March 22.
With the purchase of a MetroCard higher than $5.50, riders now get an 11 percent bonus bumped up from the 5 percent bonus.
“I’ve recommended the fare and toll change options that are most favorable to our customers who use the services the most, our core constituency,” authority chairman Thomas Prendergast told the New York Times.
Major bridge crossings for EZ Pass holders also went up 21 cents to $5.54 and for commuters who pay with cash went up 50 cents to $8.00.
Two of the board members, Rockland county representative Carl V. Wortendyke and Staten Island representative Allen P. Cappelli, voted against the fare and toll hikes respectively.
Back in November, the authority had proposed either raising the fare to $2.75 and increase the bonus to 11 percent when a rider puts more than $5.50 on her card, or keeping the fare at $2.50 and eliminating the bonus.
This hike is a part of the MTA’s proposed $32 billion five-year capital plan to renew the transportation network and technology, which is just $15 billion short of funding. The authority plans to work with its funding partners to bridge the funding gap.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state would invest $750 million to the capital plan.
Not only will CSI students have to suffer from the MTA fare hike, but a proposed transportation fee per student per semester is making its way into students’ tuition.
“Spending $6.00 four days a week just to get to school and back is honestly too much to spend,” said Sajjid Ahamed, a sophomore. “If I’m paying $2.75 for travel at least have some of the buses come on time.”
The extra transportation fee will be put up to vote in the coming elections pending 1,450 signatures on a petition currently circulating around campus.
Online ballots for electing Student Government officials include the vote on Campus Activities Board becoming independent, new proposal of SG Constitution and the transportation fee. Voting will be open until 11:45 p.m. on April 28.
During the Student Government meeting on April 16, President Tai Adenekan asked for more support for efforts to charge a transportation fee and asked for more senators to collect signatures.
“The College community will decide between a transportation fee or a reduction in service,” said Ahmed Ahmed, a senator on Student Government. “We cannot function without it.”
“I think that’s ridiculous,” said Z Anna Dinolfo, a junior. “It’s bad enough I have to pay for a parking pass that doesn’t even guarantee me a spot, but now I have to pay for the shuttle bus that I haven’t taken for three years?”