Thursday, February 28, 2013

Subway/Bus Fares Go Up This Weekend; Inequitable Bridge Tolling Will Compound Traffic Woes

That Metrocard swipe is about to cut a little deeper.
New fare rates for subways, buses, Staten Island Railway (SIR) and Access-A-Ride will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, March 3.
The base fare for subways, local buses, SIR and Access-A-Ride is rising to $2.50 from $2.25; the base fare for express buses is rising to $6.00 from $5.50. The pay-per-ride bonus discount will be reduced to 5% from 7%, but will now be available for adding as little as $5 onto a MetroCard, down from $10 previously. A Single Ride Ticket purchased from MetroCard Vending Machines is rising to $2.75 from $2.50.

The 30-day unlimited-ride MetroCard will cost $112, up from $104. The 7-day unlimited-ride MetroCard will cost $30, up from $29. The 7-day express bus plus MetroCard will cost $55, up from $50. Unlimited-ride MetroCards purchased on March 2 or earlier must be activated by Monday, March 11, to obtain full value. Those activated after that date will allow travel through April 9 for 30-day cards and March 17 for 7-day cards. Any remaining time will be refunded on a pro-rated basis.

A $1 fee will be charged for each new MetroCard purchased at a MetroCard Vending Machine or station booth. At commuter rail stations, the $1 card fee will be applied to MetroCards providing bus and/or subway travel only; the $1 fee will not be applied to Joint Rail MetroCards providing subway, bus and commuter rail service. Customers can avoid this fee by keeping their MetroCard and refilling it at any vending machine or station booth. MetroCards now can be refilled with any combination of unlimited-ride time and/or pay-per-ride dollars. Customers turning in an expired or damaged card will be provided a new card at no charge. There are also exemptions for those who buy cards at out-of-system merchants or participate in the EasyPayXpress program or a pre-tax benefit program.
More information about fares on subways, buses and SIR.
I'm so old, I can remember when the state and city used to provide respectable funding for NYCT.  Now its a steady diet of debt and fare increases, and has been since the Pataki era.

But subway fares are not the only things going up.  LIRR and Metro-North fares will increase, along with the tolls paid at MTA bridges and tunnels.  And with increased tolls comes increased efforts to avoid tolls, and drivers clogging neighborhood streets to pack onto the free bridges into Manhattan.

Sam Schwartz has a plan that will help fix these problems.  While it explicitly will NOT fund operating costs, it is an equitable fix to a lot of interrelated transportation issues that would produce a steady stream of revenue for state of good repair and capital investments in both transit and the surface network.  This is a better plan than congestion pricing, addresses a broader range of issues, and includes carrots for the outer boroughs along with the stick.

The site seems to be having some issues, but bookmark it for later:

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