MTA Unveils Two Fare Hike Proposals for 2017; Monthly MetroCard to Increase by $4.50, Weekly by $1

The MTA revealed its proposed fare hikes for subways and buses in 2017 on Wednesday and will begin holding public hearings on the hikes next month. NY1's Jose Martinez filed the following report.

Any way you swipe it, riders, get ready to pay more.

"The increase, I'm not happy about the increase," said one commuters.

But one's coming, again. 

The MTA made it official Wednesday, saying it will hike bus and subway fares on March 19, the sixth increase since 2008. 

"I mean, what are you going to do?" said one commuter.

On Wednesday, the MTA unveiled the two proposals for the increase, one that's on the way even as the agency says it's in better financial shape than in recent years.

"We have been keeping a promise that we made to our customers to minimize our fare and toll increases. And more specifically, a promise we made to do everything we can to keep those increases to 4 percent every two years or 2 percent a year," said MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas Prendergast.

Under one proposal, Plan A, the $2.75 charge would not change, but the 11 percent bonus riders receive by putting $5.50 on a MetroCard would fall to 5 percent.

Plan B would raise the base fare to $3, but riders would get a 16 percent bonus by putting $6 on a MetroCard.

Under both plans, the cost of a 30-day unlimited MetroCard would be $121, an increase of $4.50. An unlimited seven-day card would rise $1 to $32.

"I'd rather for them to increase the daily fare because I like my bonuses," said one commuter.

MTA officials called the proposed increases "modest," saying aggressive cost-cutting has helped keep fare hikes in line with inflation.

"The cost-cutting we've done has avoided a 20 percent fare or toll increase over this period of time," said MTA Chief Financial Officer Robert Foran.

An MTA board member who's been pushing for low-income riders to get reduced fares said both proposals benefit those who can afford the 7- or 30-day unlimited MetroCards.

"$121 per month for someone who's a worker as a child care care worker or someone taking care of elderly people as a home attendant, these are not inconsequential costs," said MTA Board Member David Jones.

Starting next month, riders in the five boroughs will have their chance to sound off on the proposed fare increase at a series of public hearings. The first will be held Monday, December 5 at York College in Queens.

The MTA board will pick between the proposals at its January meeting. 

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