New Yorkers Embark On First Commute with Higher MTA Fares and Tolls

NEW YORK - Monday is the first workday since the MTA's latest round of fare and toll hikes took effect.

The increases became official Sunday.

Here's how the transit math works out. The "base fare" is unchanged at $2.75. But if you buy more than one ride at a time you get the bonus. At the old bonus of 11 percent that meant you were riding for $2.48 per ride. Now, the bonus is only five percent. So you're up to $2.62 a ride.

Seven day MetroCards went up one dollar to $32.

Monthly cards rose $4.50 to $121.

Monthly and weekly tickets for Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road went up about four percent.

Cash tolls for MTA bridges and tunnels rose between 6 percent and 9 percent. In the case of the cash toll on the Brooklyn-bound Verrazano Bridge that means it's $17 now.

The tolled East River bridges are the same price round trip, but it's broken into two payments of $8.50.

There is, as always, a significant discount for New York-issued EZ Pass drivers.

You can get more information on all the increases online at mta.info.

Meantime, the fare hikes have led to calls for the city to offer half-price fares to working New Yorkers who live at or below the poverty line.

Protesters with the group "Swipe it Forward" gathered in Harlem Monday saying it's not fair to people who cannot afford to pay more.

They say it's going to lead more riders jumping turnstiles and ultimately getting arrested for fare beating.

According to the MTA, it's not unlawful to swipe your MetoCard on someone's behalf.

Activists, community leaders, elected officials wrote a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio that says in part, "The city already subsidizes half-fare MetroCards for seniors, reimburses the MTA for student passes, and gives a tax break through transit benefits to middle and higher income commuters. Why not give a break to those who need it the most?"

During a rally at Barclays Center Sunday, demonstrators called for the city to provide half-priced MetroCards for low-income New Yorkers in its 2018 budget.

They say half priced fares could save eligible families more than $700 a year.

NY1 reached out to the mayor's office for comment.

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