The MTA has confirmed proposed fare hikes for buses and subways will begin in March 2013. The increased fares are meant to pay for employee wage increases and service restorations, which are not included in other areas of this year’s MTA budget .
The 2013 fare proposals include a bus and subway fare rise to $2.50 from $2.25. The price of the monthly MetroCard will also increase by five dollars from $104 to $109, along with an increase to $30 from $29 for the 7-day MetroCards. A vote on the 2013 budget in December will decide the exact amount of the fare increases based on these proposals.
The transit fare hike will affect the wallets of many frequent subway riders, including those of university students. Josh Nungesser, freshman, says, “It’s frustrating for people who have to ride it [the subway] everyday because in the long run even a little bit is going to make a big difference for people. The fare rise led me towards considering purchasing the monthly pass because I was discouraged by the increased prices of the standard MetroCard.” As a frequent subway rider residing in the St. George housing, Nungesser believes, “The shuttle from Brooklyn to Manhattan is viable but not reliable. As a student with a strict schedule, I want a good reliable way to get to class and to always have the public transit option available to me. To have a slight fare raise will hurt my pocket in the long run and it is discouraging.”
According to the MTA, new subway lines are being added to reduce crowding in addition to other renovations and improvements in response to complaints from riders. The fare increase proposals will go into effect in March in order to balance the 2012 budget. In light of the slew of negative responses to the fare hikes, others have recognized the recent service restorations made by the MTA, convinced that an increase in fares is the right thing to do. A lifetime resident of New York, Danielle Alfieri , freshman, says, “If they increase the quality of the subway service, then the price increase is okay. However, if they are just raising the price then it’s not fair.”
Reagan Hughes, freshman, says, “I like the MTA fare raise because it makes it an even five dollars. It’s a five dollar trip to go anywhere and back, instead of $4.50.”
The most recent MTA fare increase occurred in 2010 when the base fare increased by one quarter from $2.00 to the current $2.25. The reaction of the public and students varied. Matt Fontanez, freshman and native of Long Island, remembers the previous fare hike by recalling, “Many refused to pay the $2.25 because they already believed two dollars was too much.” Danielle adds, “To be honest, when they [the MTA] rose the fare the first time I didn’t even notice. There were no riots in the subway or anything and I continued to use it despite the fare raise.” Of the current fare hike Fontanez says, “I really am on a budget with my family already so this is another expense I have to pay which bothers me.” When asked about his opinion on the MTA service as a whole, Fontanez says “I think most of the time it is good but it’s frustrating on the weekends. I also wish they would add more lines connecting certain places you can currently only reach by bus.”
Max Colvill, freshman, reacts to the subway fare increase by saying “Its only a quarter raise. It if were a large increase, such as three dollars, that would be a major concern. However, the fact that it’s only a quarter is not that big of a deal.” He added “The price of everything these days is rising so much that a quarter is becoming almost worthless… to raise it just 25 cents is okay for me. However, I understand that people live in New York City who have no income and have lived with this $2.25 fare for a good amount of time now, so its probably a big deal for them.” Regardless of the fare controversy, generally Colvill, “I like the MTA service. I think its good because it’s a better and cheaper way to get ar