Bus and train riders in the area could be paying higher fares as soon as Labor Day, as the MTA — the city authority in charge of public transit — considers a fare hike.
If the hike is confirmed, MetroCard swipes could cost $2.90, up from $2.75, starting at the end of the summer, which would be the first base fare raise since 2019. Seven-day MetroCards would be raised to $34 from $33, while 30-day MetroCards would increase to $132 from $147.
Express bus fares would increase to $7 from $6.75 per swipe, while seven-day express bus MetroCards will rise to $64 from $62. Long Island Railroad and Metro-North fares would also go up by about 4%, though the monthly passes would be capped at $500.
On top of that, bridge and tunnel tolls would likely also be increased, though the exact numbers on that are not released yet.
The MTA will be spending the month holding public hearings about the potential hikes to gauge New Yorkers’ thoughts. A vote on the increases is expected to come sometime in July.
Already, New Yorkers from both near and far are voicing disapproval of the hikes, which are coming both as a response to increased fare evasion and as a regular increase, which typically occur every two years but took a pause due to COVID-19.
Larry Penner is a transportation historian and writer based in Long Island. Formerly, he was a director for the Federal Transit Administration out of the New York Office of Operations and Program Management. He shared his thoughts about fare evasion and hikes with the Canarsie Courier in a letter to the editor.
“Commuters and taxpayers have to wonder why each new generation of MTA management year after year never seem to be able to deal with controlling fare evasion,” he said. “Successful leadership could resolve these challenges and deliver over $1 billion worth of savings yearly. Honest riders, who face fare increases later this year and have always paid when boarding, should expect nothing less.”
Southeast Brooklyn residents have many thoughts on the potential hikes.
“My feeling on the fare hike is that it is a direct result of the fare dodgers which is totally out of hand,” Homecrest resident Mitchell Karp said. “It’s not fair that those of us who pay our way need to reap the consequences of this epidemic. Pretty upset about it.”
Many community members, like Madison resident Yvonne Lipes, agree with this sentiment. “Even with the fare hike, it will in no way, shape or form improve service on bus lines nor improve train safety,” she said. “The MTA can use all the high-tech garbage they want, but the situation remains the same – it is dangerous on trains and buses.”
Other residents said they aren’t surprised by the fare raises.
“No one likes paying more for services that don’t provide improvements, but this was inevitable,” Sheepshead Bay resident Neil Friedman said. “Prices on food and other essentials have also been raised in recent years.”
Overall, residents said they’re unhappy with the possibility of paying more for their commutes in the coming months.
“They are going to do what they want and more people will jump the turnstiles,” Mill Basin resident Correy Hope Kustin said.
Dates for the public hearings have not yet been announced. The MTA did not provide comment about the fare hike.