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MTA fares may be upped to $3 by March

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It’s one of the two proposals the agency has outlined for fare hikes

What was rumored over the summer may turn out to be true—a subway fare increase to $3 per swipe. On Wednesday the MTA announced that it was considering two proposals relating to fare hikes across the system, the New York Times reports.

The first proposal would see the fare increase on a MetroCard swipe from $2.75 to $3, but it would come with an increase in the bonus on pay-per-ride MetroCards, going from an 11 percent increase to 16 percent increase when commuters put at least $6 on their card.

This proposal however would see the weekly price increase to $32 from the existing $31, and also an increase in the monthly MetroCard from $116.50 to $121. Tolls on bridges and tunnels, and the commuter railways like Metro North would increase by four percent.

In the second proposal, all of the above would stay the same, except that a single swipe would remain the existing $2.75, but the bonus on pay-per-ride would go down to five percent when commuters add at least $5.50 to a card.

The MTA has previously argued that it has to continue increasing the fares every two years to avoid increasing its debt—which could rise to $41 billion by 2020, according to The Times.

The base fare was previously increased in March 2015 from $2.50 to $2.75, but with increased overcrowding and delays, each fare hike gets all the more frustrating for commuters. The MTA’s board will vote on these proposals come January 2017 after several public meetings are held on the matter—if the base fare hike does go into effect, it will start March 2017.

With talk of fare increases, there has also been a renewed call for subsidized fare for low-income New Yorkers. An MTA Board member told The Times that it would address the matter at meeting scheduled today.