Brace yourself New Yorkers, the latest round of MTA fare hikes will take effect on Easter.
At precisely 12:01 a.m. Sunday morning, the cost of a 30-day MetroCard will increase from $121 to $127 and seven-day passes will rise from $32 to $33. Single fares will remain at $2.75, but the MTA nixed bonuses that gives riders a five percent bump when they add $5.50 or more to a card.
Those who purchased unlimited passes prior to the April 21 hike, must begin using the cards by April 29 to get the full days of unlimited rides. Those seven-day unlimited rides and express bus plus passes are valid until May 5, and the 30-day unlimited will last until May 28.
The MTA approved the hikes during a February board meeting, where then-acting MTA Chairman Fernando Ferrer called the hikes “painful in some areas, but it is fair and keeps us afloat financially” in order to stave off crippling services cuts. At Wednesday’s board meeting, newly-appointed MTA Chairman Patrick Foye pointed out that the system’s fare increases are below the rate of inflation and said it’s up to the cash-strapped transit agency to “restructure, reform and to take costs out” to develop a healthy bottom line.
The subway increases are in line with one of two options the agency had originally suggested for upping New York City transit fares: Either raise the base fare to $3 (and $3.25 for a single-ride ticket), or leave the base fare alone and eliminate the MetroCard bonus.
Rates for Long Island Rail Road tickets and certain toll crossings also went up with a maximum increase on weekly and monthly LIRR tickets up to $15 and $5.57 on weekly tickets. Commuters who pay $460 or more for their monthly pass will not see an increase.
The MTA’s board was due to vote on the hikes in January, but tabled the vote amid pushback from transit and disability advocates (who fought against raising the base fare because it would negatively impact users of the agency’s Access-a-Ride service).
Riders will likely face another fare and toll hike in 2021, with Foye noting Wednesday that “there will be a serious discussion about that in the future.”