The MTA Is Increasing Its Fares and Tolls
If you think living in Westchester is expensive, try commuting.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Wednesday announced that its board of directors approved fare and toll hikes for New York City buses and subways, MTA-operated bridges and tunnels, and even Long Island and Metro-North railroads.
Beginning March 31, commuting drivers will see varying increases in their bridge and tunnel tolls by about 6 percent each way for E-ZPass customers and 11.8 percent for non-E-ZPass users.
Other increases will take effect April 21, including a 5 percent hike to the cost of a 30-day MetroCard pass, as well as a 3.1 percent hike to the 7-day pass, both common options for frequent and occasional day commuters. (Basic MetroCard costs will remain the same, however the 5 percent bonus discount for loading more than $5.50 will be lost.)
Of chief concern for most Westchesterites is the increase in fare along the Metro-North rail line. Riders can expect up to a 3.85 percent increase on both weekly and monthly tickets, raising the former by $5.75 and the latter by a full $15. Other fares — i.e. peak/off-peak one-way and round-trip tickets, etc. — will rise by 4 to 6 percent, , whichever is greater. This means that a one way trip to Grand Central off-peak from, say, White Plains will now cost $9.75, while the northernmost Croton Falls will run a whopping $15. You can see all new fare costs here.
Acting MTA Chair Fernando Ferrer calls the extra funding “critically important to the MTA,” but says it is not enough for the organization to fund its current plans or even close the MTA’s current operating deficit.
“We’ve seen dramatically improved performance of our system recently and in order to keep that up we are making major internal reforms, seeking additional recurring revenues from our state and city partners, and urging the legislature to pass the governor’s congestion pricing proposal.”
The roughly 2 percent overall increase in fares and tolls is designed to help keep up with inflation, and is expected to bring in an additional $336 million in revenue for the state per year.