At a board meeting held on Wednesday, MTA officials announced that the agency would move forward with plans to increase fares next year in an attempt to boost revenue for the agency.
The MTA plans to increase fares by four percent in 2019 and is proposing a second four-precent hike in 2021, though that won’t be decided on until later hearings slated for this fall and winter, reports NBC New York. Tolls prices are also set to be increased, however just how much remains to be seen.
Some board members expressed the very concerns that many riders have: how can fares continue to go up in the midst of declining service reliability? “It is in my opinion not the appropriate time to ask our riders for more money at this time,” said MTA board member Mitch Pally. But the cash-strapped agency says that the fare hike is needed to address budget deficits.
Due to declining ridership, the agency is expecting to take in less money than they projected earlier this year and expects to face a deficit of around $376 million between 2019 and 2022, says the New York Daily News. Subway ridership has been on the decline for the past couple of years, falling from 1.762 billion rides in 2015 to 1.727 billion total trips in 2017. Aside from declining ridership, MTA officials are also blaming ride-hailing apps like Uber for the dip in ridership.
- MTA seeks fare hikes as transit service suffers and ridership tumbles [New York Daily News]
- MTA Plans to Hike Fares in 2019, 2021 By 4 Percent Each [NBC New York]
- Who’s to blame for MTA’s declining ridership? [Curbed]