City/State-Wide

New Year, New Fares

MTA Fares are Expected to Increase Come 2019

By: Alexis Kateridge

New Yorkers can expect increases to take action around the beginning of March. (Credit: silive.com)

The new year means a lot of things to many people, whether it be heading to the gym to try and get in shape or finally cleaning out your closet to donate some old clothes. But rarely does it ever mean MTA fare increases.

That’s right, it’s like the Grinch himself has descended upon us and, during the season of giving, taken something from the good people of New York City.

It seems like during this time of year the most important word on everyone’s mind, even the MTA, is budget. In fact, budgeting seems to be the stem of their decision to increase both tolls and fares in the first place.

According to silive.com, there are currently two options for the fare increase. One involves removing the bonus that people receive for filling their card, the other involves increasing both the fare and the bonus together.

Silive.com fully outlines what effects that these changes will have on pricing listed on their website, and it can also be found in the accompanying picture.

Proposal One suggests doing away with the bonus that comes along with putting money on your metrocard, so there would be no increase in prices of subway usage. Express buses on the other hand, will increase no matter what proposal is selected.

In the terms of Proposal One, the increase for the Express Bus will be .50 cents, with no bonus. Whereas the increase with Proposal 2 suggests a .75 cent rise in the Express Bus fare.

The main difference is that Proposal Two not only includes the Bonus, but raises it to a 10% bonus with a $6 purchase, higher than the 5% bonus with a $5.50 purchase. On the flip side of this increased bonus is the increase in subway and local bus fare, which increases to $3.

There is some concern from students over how this fare increase will affect their commute to school, work, or internships. Money is already a concern for many college age students, and this is just another added expense.

While the increase doesn’t look overly dramatic at first glance, it will definitely add up over time.

This fare increase is largely a result of insufficient funds for the construction and renovation of the subway tunnels, according to Zoe Rosenberg, a writer for ny.curbed.com. In order to complete the renovation process, money has to come from somewhere.

It would kind of make sense for it to come from the people utilizing the Subway to help out with its renovations. But is is fair for bus users to get charged on account of a Subway issue?

Maybe so. Anthony Astarita, a College of Staten Island Student, feels that this increase in fare is, well, fair. “The MTA loses a lot of money per seat on the bus, I wouldn’t be surprised if the price continues to rise.”

This is truly a fair point, why should the MTA have to cover what everyone’s fare doesn’t? Not to mention the gas as well.

If you figure that buses run all day everyday, even when there is a lull in the amount of people taking the bus, the cost can rack up for the MTA.

Sure a full bus of people might completely cover the cost of that bus trip, but what about the trips the bus takes in the afternoon where only one or two people get on?

So, maybe this increase fare isn’t so unfair after all. It all comes down to perspective. According to Rosenberg, the fare increase in 2019 is imminent, and there is no solution for it that will come soon enough (ny.curbed.com).

It might be time for New Yorkers to skip the Christmas Cookies, because they might need to tighten their belts a notch.

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