NYC Transit Fares Increase As Service Continues To Decrease

Life in New York City has just gotten a little more expensive, as the MTA board has voted to increase fares on subways, buses and commuter trains for the third time in two years, all while cutting bus routes, train service and laying off thousands of employees.

From the NY Daily News:

The 30-day unlimited-ride MetroCard will rise from $89 to a whopping $104, while the unlimited-ride seven-day MetroCard jumpes from $27 to $29.

The MTA will no longer sell One-Day Fun passes or 14-day MetroCards, and a single ride will jump from $2.25 to $2.50. Bonuses on pay-per-ride MetroCards will plummet from 15% to 7% – and will start after riders spend $10, up from $8.

The MTA says the fare hike is occurring because, the state has held back or cut a total of around $160 million in funding intended for mass transit.

The price hikes go into effect on Dec. 30 for the millions of people who ride NYC Transit each day.

MTA approves subway, bus and commuter train fare hikes; third since 2008 [NY Daily News]

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. backinpgh says:

    We’re going through the same thing in Pittsburgh, PA. Some neighborhoods are losing ALL their bus service. It’s awful.

    • DoktorGoku says:

      Yeah… I just moved here, and I’m already noting issues.

    • kittylauper says:

      Did you go to the rally to defend public transit downtown? There will be more. Hopefully the people of NYC mobilize too.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      The Port Authority was awful about 20 years ago. It’s hard to believe bus service could get any worse. I was a regular on the 61A & 61B many years ago and was very grateful when my employer was willing to pay my parking fees, so I could drive.

    • INsano says:

      Same in Portland, OR a purported “alternative transportation” capital. Our local bus and rail provider, TriMet continues to cut bus lines, and make service more infrequent, all while raising fares.
      Still…guess it’s better than bending over at the pump whenever Exxon decides there should be an “oil shortage”.

    • _UsUrPeR_ says:

      Strangely enough, the Detroit People Mover still remains the same price.

  2. apd09 says:

    do they have the rush hour charge as well like we have in Washington DC? Morning and afternoon the price of trips increases as ridership increases, then when the specified time is over the price drops down again.

    That is some grade A horse manure, but I guess it is common practice as with toll roads they are starting to institute rush hour express lanes for a fee.

    I have no problem with NY raising rates if that is what they feel they need to do in order to stay solvent, but I am of the mindset that if you lower the cost more people will use it. But then again in NYC most everyone uses the subway anyway so there is not much room for improvement in ridership.

    • Mighty914 says:

      There is no difference in rush hour rate vs. regular time.

    • Mom says:

      Unlike transit systems in a lot of the rest of the country, the NYC subway system is already running close to capacity, so I don’t think increasing ridership is really part of the agenda.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        No, DC isn’t trying to increase ridership (well, they are, but that’s not what apd09 meant). DC was already charging more during peak hours (rush hour times) and now is charging an additional fee to the peak hours. DC’s agenda (much like NY, probably) is to make it more expensive during those times so that people will maybe change their riding habits and help spread out some of the transit traffic. Problem is, not many people can just get to work an hour or two later to avoid the peak of the peak fare.

        • Geekybiker says:

          I think they’re really trying to encourage you to drive at peak times.

          • nbs2 says:

            Where they nail you with peak hour tolls? I remember hearing rumors of adding express toll lanes to 270, leaving 95 as the only open option in MD. In the end, they try and nail you any which way they can.

            I will say this in defense of the much beleaguered mass transit system – I am impressed that MARC fares haven’t increased through this whole mess. Service has been mediocre, but there haven’t been any cuts recently. I can’t believe I’m about to say this – well done MTA.

      • nybiker says:

        Actually it’s not running close to capacity when you figure in the service cuts over the years. They would need to run trains more often to be at capacity. Waiting 10 minutes during rush hour times for a train means you could add a couple more trains to a given route at that point. Granted, some lines have multiple routes running on them (for example, IRT in Manhattan you have 1/2/3 and the 4/5/6 sharing a line. But as 2&3 and 4&5 are express routes, they only share the local stops on their respective routes. The #7 in Queens is all by its lonesome.) I laugh when we get to the old Shea Stadium stop and we’re told “sorry, there is congestion ahead at Main Street so we’re going to sit here until there’s room in the station.” I’d understand congestion if there were trains running literally every minute, but that’s not the case and I have sat at Shea Stadium stop (or worse, in between) for 3-5 minutes enough times to know that they just don’t have enough people to drive the trains out of Main Street. It has nothing to do with capacity (that is, keeping trains spaced far enough apart so as to not crash into one another). We recently lost two whole lines, which of course reduces their manpower costs.

        As to capacity on bus lines, I’d venture a guess that our roadways could easily handle the buses, but again, we lost entire routes as well as some routes lost weekend and/or evening service. Not good if you’ve don’t have a car.

        • mac-phisto says:

          Waiting 10 minutes during rush hour times…

          HA! i wish! i don’t live in the city, but i frequently come down to visit friends in brooklyn (metro-north to GCT, then a quick jaunt over to bryant park or times square to pick up the D, N or R (depending on who i’m visiting).

          a 10 minute wait for one of those trains on a good day – no, on a great day. & the worst part is that those trains are often packed solid during the rush – at least to atlantic/pacific. you can’t even breathe.

          • P=mv says:

            I live in a city where walking 4 miles is actually faster than riding the bus because of the average 45 minute wait. I would love to only wait 10 minutes. That would make public transportation feasible.

    • humphrmi says:

      Public transit in general has a relatively inelastic coefficient of demand. In laymens terms, that means that if you raise prices, you won’t lose as many customers as when, say, Amtrak or Avis Rent-A-Car raises prices. Same thing on the downswing, generally lowering prices does not increase ridership significantly.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I hate the new peak of the peak fare. I was fine with the regular peak and off peak fares, but for WMATA to add an additional fee on top of that was just ridiculous. And meanwhile escalators are still broken and teenagers are still allowed to run rampant and disturb other passengers.

    • GrimJack says:

      And don’t forget that DC’s rates (Metro, at least) are based on distance – the further you travel, the more you pay. In NYC, the same fare will take you 5 blocks or the length and breadth of the entire system. If they went to a distance traveled model, the folks with the least to spare would be hit the hardest – think people commuting from the furthest, least expensive corners of the 5 boroughs into Manhattan to work in the service industry…

      • Tallanvor says:

        London is the same. They have multiple zones and you pay more depending on what zones you travel in. Even their weekly passes are zone-based. For people traveling in zone 1, they also have peak fares. And a monthly pass for zone 1 is a bit over $150/month, and depending on where you are traveling from, you could easily have to pay over $300/month for a ticket.

        Even in Oslo, which doesn’t have near the level of public transportation as London or New York, you pay just under $100/month for a travel pass, and you can’t even use it on the night buses!

    • Endless Mike says:

      Seriously, I would gladly pay $100 for unlimited Metro rides. I spend more than that just to get to and from work and I only commute four days a week.

  3. kc2idf says:

    You know, I gotta say, while I love the $1.50/trip and $55/month ($65 if you want weekends also) fares up here in the four-county region covered by CDTA, I have to say, you guys in NYC are spoiled when it comes to public transit. Coverage is very thorough, trips are frequent, and the subway is comparatively fast. I would love to have service that good up here, even in a diminished state.

    • nybiker says:

      “Coverage is very thorough, trips are frequent, and the subway is comparatively fast”

      By fast do you mean the train travels at high speed? Nope. And frequent? Depends on what you mean by frequent. With the population density we have, there are some stations (especially the terminal ones) where if you don’t have another train pulling in within a minute or so of a train’s departure, you end up with heavy-duty getting-to-know-your-fellow-commuter situations on the platforms. And that’s a big deal considering that it wouldn’t take much to end up on the tracks if someone bumps into you. And if you travel in off-peak times, forget any concept of frequent. It’s just a question of multiples of 10 minutes you might wait for a bus or train.

      As to thorough, there are whole swaths of the city where there is barely bus service let alone subway service. Recent bus service cuts have made some sections a walking-to-work deal considering how far away a bus stop is as a result of the cuts.

      Transit service in New York City is one giant shrink-ray exercise. The MTA (which has its head up where the sun don’t shine) keeps cutting service and jacking up rates. And don’t forget that the same folks run the toll & rail road schemes (well, the Port Authority of NY/NJ also plays games with emptying our collective wallets). The tolls for the tunnels & bridges as well as MetroNorth & Long Island RailRoad will be going up as well, since the MTA runs those 2 railroads.

      • kc2idf says:

        It’s just a question of multiples of 10 minutes you might wait for a bus or train.

        Ooooh! Ten whole minutes!

        Buses past my office run every hour for three hours in the morning and three in the evening. Past my house, every 15 minutes during rush hour, 30 during the day and every hour overnight.

    • Ahardy55 says:

      Reading the comments on here make me realize that a some people don’t understand a few things about New York.

      1. No new train lines have been built since the 1930′s. From the 30′s to about 1970, every cent of transit money was spent by Robert Moses to build bridges and roads(read the Power Broker by Robert Caro!) instead of mass transit.
      2. New York has 8 million people crammed into a fairly small area. An average of 27,000 people per square mile (LA has 8,000 per square mile, Chicago has 12,000, Boston 13,000). This means, despite our seemingly awesome mass transit, that our roads and trains are packed to the brim almost all of the time. Trying getting on the 4/5 at rush hour.
      3. In 2007, a monthly metro card was $76. In 2011, it will be $104, a 37% increase.

      So, when people are complaining, it’s not just sour grapes and that we have nothing to complain about.

  4. Alvis says:

    I hate posts that remind me Consumerist is a blog catering to NYCfans. Whole big world – lots of cities get transit rate hikes.

    • DarthCoven says:

      a blog based in NYC is writing about NYC, go figure…

    • Guppy06 says:

      You should make your own blog, then! With hookers! And blackjack!

    • shawnamuffin says:

      It’s a consumer issue. What’s the problem?

    • qbubbles says:

      I was about to say the same thing. This isnt a NYC blog, its a consumerist blog. Post about rate hikes, sure, but make sure you post about all cities with rate hikes. Not just your precious NYC.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      But in this case, a transit hike in NYC sets an example (or in some cases, a precedent) for how other cities’ transit systems evaluate their fares.

  5. GrimJack says:

    Hmmm… $104 for 30 days of unlimited use of the transit system which will take you anywhere in the city? Still seems a bargain compared to a car loan payment, insurance, and parking charges for a car….

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Yeah, my monthly car loan payment is more than that, plus insurance, maintenance, and gas.

      Seems a good deal. Just the occasional mugging or rape. Hell, even if I get mugged, it’s still saving money as long as I don’t keep to much cash on me.

      • DarthCoven says:

        The system is nowhere near as dangerous as it was 20 years ago. Just don’t flash your expensive jewelry/electronics and try not to ride in empty cars and you should be fine. My wife an I ride the system at crazy hours of the night, sometimes alone, and neither of us has any trouble. Also, most trains have conductors/operators at the front and (in the case of an 8 car train) the 5th car. They may not interfere with a crime in progress, but they can radio ahead to the next station to have cops/ems waiting.

      • Geekybiker says:

        What is the dollar value if you get raped?

        • Tim says:

          What’s the dollar value if you get carjacked? What about a car crash?

          Riding public transportation is exponentially safer than driving. It’s just that people make a HUGE deal about bad things that happen on public transportation, while car crashes get no press (or maybe very little, if someone died).

      • Gordon Comstock says:

        It’s amazing how ignorant some people are about New York City. The city appears to exist, for them, as some TV-created fantasyland, where every streetcorner hides a rapist or a mugger or a killer. Those people need to learn to separate reality from their paranoid fantasies.

        New York is, and has been for some time, among the safest big cities (often THE safest big city) in the United States.

        Citywide, murders are down from 2,262 in 1990 to 471 in 2009. Over the same period, rapes have dropped from 3,126 to 1,199, robbery from 100,280 to 18,596, and felonious assault from 44,122 to 16,757.

        Figures from the NYPD website:
        http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/html/crime_prevention/crime_statistics.shtml

        And these figures include all 5 boroughs. Manhattan, where most tourists spend their time on their NYC visits, is even safer. Manhattan had a total of 69 murders in 2009, in a borough with a population of about 1.6 million people. At about 4.3 murders per 100,000 population, that puts Manhattan pretty much right at the average for the United States, which has national figures of 4.28 murders per 100,000 people. (http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_mur_percap-crime-murders-per-capita).

        • Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

          I know. *Sigh* I love going to the city… I was born up on Long Island, and moved to upstate NY during my late childhood. Everyone up here has their mind set about NYC- the crime, dirtiness, etc- Try to convince them otherwise is a joke. Too bad for them, it’s an experience everyone should have once in their life.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          Haha. New York in the lens of Law & Order: SVU, right? It’s a double-edged sword. I know New York isn’t anything like it is depicted in Law & Order but from what I’ve seen of the seedier parts of Baltimore, The Wire might not be too far off of a depiction. I don’t think I’ve seen an accurate picture of DC yet. George Pelecanos books are more accurate, IMO.

      • alisonann says:

        You are watching way too much Law & Order.

  6. TuxthePenguin says:

    Just a question – anyone know how much NYC transit is running in the red this year and their total ridership?

    Just wondering how much of a fare increase would be needed to make it break even, with outside support (ie, state funding) and without.

    • hypnotik_jello says:

      I don’t think public transit can ever break even without government subsidy. The problem is that a lot of the operating costs for the MTA comes from property tax revenue. Well guess what? Property taxes are in the shitter because the housing market went south.
      The problem is that when times are good governments tend to spend more without realizing that hey, if property values tank that revenue will shrink.

      • DarthCoven says:

        The MTA gets a metric fuck-ton of assistance from the state. I remember hearing a bit on the radio (either NPR or WINS, can’t remember which) about these subsidies, and how the actual price of a subway fare would rise to something like $6 or $7 without them. This is the same all over the world, where public transit systems are heavily backed by tax dollars and the individual fares make up a small percentage of the total operating budget.

        • Geekybiker says:

          I remember that in Chicago the train system supposedly pretty much pays for itself. The buses are heavily subsidized though.

        • Gulliver says:

          SO? What is your point? Every Interstate in this country is subsidized as well. Paid for by tax dollars. Oh, so I guess those that CHOOSE to drive a car SHOULD be subsidized, and those that CHOOSE to tax public mass transit should not be subsidized. Imagine the state saying we are cutting off road funding for the year 2010. People somehow think only users should pay for mass transit, but in reality EVERYBODY pays for personal transit (roads, bridges, highways, snow removal, trash pick up on roads, etc)

          • DarthCoven says:

            Calm down there, Sparky. I was just providing information. I wasn’t making an argument. If you’re going to jump down my throat about an FYI post you can kindly go fornicate yourself.

            Prick.

    • ElleAnn says:

      Good question… I wonder how much of a fair increase most highways would require to break even without outside support (federal and state tax revenues). They would definitely have to issue the highway patrol thicker ticket books.

    • Guppy06 says:

      Do you know how many NYC businesses would go under if their employees didn’t have reliable and affordable public transportation? Would you yourself have a job (let alone one as profitable as your current job) if the volume of business able to be conducted in the country’s (and the world’s) business and financial capital was limited by the number of cars that could fit on Manhattan’s streets?

      Asking about the solvency and profitability of public transportation demonstrates an inability to see the forest through all the trees.

      • RxDude says:

        “Asking about the solvency and profitability of public transportation demonstrates an inability to see the forest through all the trees.”

        The MTA obviously thinks these issues are worth considering. No doubt public transit is necessary, but it still has to be paid for somehow.

  7. evilrobot says:

    Looks like we found a way to fund those sweet, new upper/lowercase street signs.

  8. DarthCoven says:

    My wife constantly complains about the MTA and how “shitty the service is”. The reality is we have one of the top transit systems in the world. It runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It runs in horrible weather, it runs to all corners of the city and you’re never more than a few blocks away from a bus or train (unless it’s the wee hours of the morning, in which case some bus lines either run once an hour or not at all). Yes we get service cuts, yes we have mismanagement and yes we keep seeing fare hikes, but the fact remains it is still one of the best systems out there, and there is no other method of travel where you can say you made your way from northern Bronx to southern Brooklyn all for $2.25.

    One thing I am glad to see is that they were considering charging $1 to buy a new Metrocard, instead of refilling your old card. Litter is a terrible problem in the subway system, and around the turnstiles and vending machines, the biggest culprit is discarded Metrocards. Hopefully this $1 charge to buy a new one will give people the incentive to keep using the same card. Of course this means that the MTA is going to have to expand the life of the cards, as the one I currently have expires in a year.

    • tinmanx says:

      I have a yearly Metrocard, they don’t last as long as you think. I would be pissed if I have to pay an extra $1 every time I have to replace it.

    • M.P. says:

      Well, they really should just allow you to replace an expired one as long as you still have it on hand. Those things are made of flimsy plastic… nothing like tap cards like the Octopus card in HK. Currently the self-service kiosks will automatically ask you if you want to replace your card if the card is about expire within a month. But there’s no option to “refill” the card as an unlimited monthly.

      • CountryJustice says:

        LA Metro’s TAP cards are nice and thick and last forever. Also, they are magical, and grant wishes.

        This, of course, stands in stark contrast to LA Metro’s actual transit service.

      • nbs2 says:

        Even touch cards aren’t perfect. I may eventually destroy the gates on DC Metro. Thanks to the reader not taking, I’ve flipped over the gates more than a handful of times.

    • newsbunny says:

      I’d keep refilling my MetroCard if it didn’t start crapping out after about 40 bucks worth of rides.

      The scanner has trouble reading them, for some reason. Maybe the system should invest in more sturdy cards — like Boston’s Charlie cards.

      • Coelacanth says:

        My metrocard lasts for an entire *year*, and I’m a heavy user of the public transportation in NYC. Yes, it begins to show its age after the first few months, and may even have occasional trouble scanning around months 8-9, but I’ve only had to replace one yearly card because it refused to swipe.

        That’s probably about 1,000 rides, as a somewhat conservative estimate.

  9. milkcake says:

    You forgot to mention that all new cards is $1 as well.

  10. Thyme for an edit button says:

    The price increase doesn’t seem so bad. In my city, it turned to $100 for a monthly pass on mass transit a year ago. And they got rid of the $1.10 fair to ride around the central city area so people have to pay the $2.50 fare, which was the cost for regular rides from anywhere. Worst of all, they got rid of transfers. Used to be, you got one transfer free. So a ride that used to cost you $2.50 to transfer to another bus or train is now $5. Nuts.

  11. Spike3185 says:

    My problem with this is basically that, at least for somebody like me, the subway is really the only option for getting to work. From where I live, biking is either gonna take an hour each way or I’m gonna die trying to bike down third avenue. And good luck getting parking in my neighborhood even if I was willing to drive. So these fuckers pretty much have my ass hostage and if they keep raising prices I’m not even gonna be able to afford getting to and from where I gotta go to get the money to buy their fucking train tickets! And they’re raising prices just to give shittier service! I went from a nice M train ride straight to work, to having to take the D to the R, which, if it’s already in the station when the D gets there it’s not waiting for all the passengers to get across the platform like all the other train lines do. You should see the D/N/R platform at Atlantic/Pacific in Brooklyn now that the M is cut. So packed you can’t even walk around. Wasn’t it just 2 years ago the MTA “found” pretty much the exact same amount of money that it’s now claiming it needs to make back to break even? This basically means they went Overbudget by at least 1.6 BILLION fucking dollars in practically no time. As in, over what they were already planning on spending (whatever number that is). Anyone else I know would probably be fired over something like that but no, here we are again with these fuckers committing highway goddamn robbery.

    • DarthCoven says:

      Keep in mind that their budgets each year include expected amounts from the state in tax revenue. In years of deep recession, like these past few, the state can’t always deliver and that’s why they wind up running under budget.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Wouldn’t they be committing public transportation robbery? If you want highway robbery, buy a car.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Yep, this is the situation I’m in here in DC. We have determined that for as long as we live in the DC area, we will need to be near the metro line (I refuse to ride the bus anymore) and have no choice.

  12. evilpete says:

    Hey! At least you have 24 hour service in new york, in the san francisco bay area we do not have any trains at night and just a handful of buses that run every hour or two

  13. Hollihocks says:

    Think that’s rough? Come to Atlanta. We just had our round of cuts and fare hikes (that being said, I’m not complaining – $68/mo for a monthly and the occasional Zipcar errand sure beats car payment + gas + insurance by a landslide).

    At least the state of NY funds the MTA. We can’t get a dime from the state here. Mind you, the state of GA also mandates by law that MARTA keep 50% of their money on hold for “capital.” Hence the problems. They won’t let MARTA spend the $ as they know it should be. But hey, we just got vending machines – hello cash cow haha!

    At least in NYC you can go a mile relatively easily. I waited on a bus down Ponce De Leon ( the Broadway of Atlanta, figuratively speaking) during rush hour. It was 25 minutes late and SLAMMED full. Wanna take a train to Buckhead, our other city center after 7 PM? Wait 20 minutes for your transfer at Lindbergh. at 7!

    Mind you, MARTA is extremely well run from a cost perspective. Their per passenger costs are lower than similar systems nationwide.

    God bless Georgia. Atlanta is a bubble in an extremely conservative, rural state.

    The suburbanites refuse to expand train service into their area because MARTA = crime. The trains barely make it to the Perimter ( about 20 mi out) when they could easily go 50 miles in several directions.

    • DarthCoven says:

      I spend almost a week each year in Atlanta and I absolutely *love* MARTA. We used to pay big bucks for the cab fare from H-J to the hotels Downtown until we realized that for a couple of bucks we could hop onto a half hour train ride right down to Peachtree Center, a block from our hotels. The stations are gorgeous and the trains were clean and quiet. You guys have a wonderful system down there and I’m sorry the state refuses to lend a hand.

    • Nighthawke says:

      Is that why Atlanta has such a sprawl issue is that the state and the urbanites don’t wanna expand MARTA? For shame if that is true.

      • Hollihocks says:

        Atlanta’s sprawl came from the population boom to the suburbs + car culture + cheap land.

        The suburbanites hate MARTA, but by God, when there’s a Braves game or something downtown, they’re the first ones to shove themselves on the train looking confused.

        We can’t achieve regional success without cooperation of the region. Fulton and DeKalb Counties (who solely support MARTA) can’t be expected to foot the bill for all 5,000,000 metro residents.

        • TheRealDeal says:

          Well, you can forget about giving the Braves as an example. They’re shutting down the Braves Shuttle from Five Points as part of their service cuts. It was a great way to go to the games that a lot of people are going to be missing.

          As far as other counties’ support of MARTA, the residents of other counties DO support MARTA, they buy tickets! It isn’t supported by tax revenue from other counties because it doesn’t service those counties, plain and simple.

    • George4478 says:

      >>The suburbanites refuse to expand train service into their area because MARTA = crime.

      Personally, I vote against MARTA coming to Gwinnett since the county would get, in exchange for the same taxation as the downtown counties, 2 whole bus lines and the promise of a future rail line!!! Whoo-hooo!!!

      It only took MARTA 25 years to fulfill the same rail promise to North Fulton. All while the citizens paid millions and millions in MARTA funding taxes.

      Sorry, Marta. Better luck next time.

  14. fsnuffer says:

    Don’t forget this also includes all the commuters on the LIRR, Metro North, and bridge tolls. Ask the MTA what portion of their budget is benefits and pensions? The LIRR has conductors making over $220K a year with overtime. They are padding their hours so for a job that pays $80K/year, they can walk with a $150K/year pension. The MTA averages their salary for the last three years to determine pension payouts.

    • umbriago says:

      You nailed it. A gigantic portion.

    • Forbidden says:

      I’m curious, what if companies started turning off their previous CEO “deferred compensation” gravy train? Do you realize that’s what pension is? The company agreed to it in the employee contract. When did it become OK for a company to not make payroll?

  15. junip says:

    Same thing is happening in San Francisco. This is nothing new as far as I’m concerned.

  16. danmac says:

    Yeah…sorry, Chris, but I pay more than that on gas commuting to and from my job each month, and I don’t have the option of public transit. Hell, when I lived in the Bay Area several years ago, BART prices were already higher than yours are now and the trains/buses ran less often (I just checked…it’s $3.75 on-way from Berkeley to San Fran).

  17. sir_eccles says:

    How much are those fancy new signs they are putting up?

    • DarthCoven says:

      I assume you mean the street signs being replaced as mandated by federal law. Those are not the responsibility of the MTA. The NYC DOT is the agency you want to address that question to.

  18. FreshPorcupineSalad says:

    You can finance a cheap car for $104/month.

    • DarthCoven says:

      Factor in gas, insurance, tolls and maintenance and that cheap car suddenly isn’t so cheap.

      • Gulliver says:

        Also in New York, why not add in that little expense of parking. Last time I was in New York, I received a mater ticket that was over $50.

        • DarthCoven says:

          Yes, parking is also a huge expense. I have seen private lots that would charge upwards of $15 for half an hour of parking. Monthly rates can run you as much as rent in an outer borough.

          That’s ignoring parking fines, too. If you don’t want a $50 ticket, put a quarter in the damned meter.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Because driving is just sitting in the car and turning a wheel once in a while. Driving in a city can be very difficult. This doesn’t even take into account parking, housing the car, and figuring out where to park once you’re at your destination.

  19. quirkyrachel says:

    We’ve already gone through the same thing in Chicago.

    • SisterHavana says:

      Repeatedly. The 2011 CTA budget is the first one in many years that doesn’t include service cuts, fare hikes, or both.

  20. omg says:

    Fare hikes and service cuts appear to be practically universal these days. Here’s one more observation:

    Transit agency cuts service, hikes fares, moves goalposts.

    Portland transit agency TriMet recently increased fares and reduced service, including discontinuing several bus lines, for something like the sixth time in the past three years.

    Long priding itself on its numerous Frequent Service lines – which it has defined as a line which runs “every 15 minutes or better, all day, every day” (more precisely, from morning rush hour through afternoon rush hour) – TriMet redefined Frequent Service when it found repeated service cuts left it with only one bus line, and zero train lines, which meets the Frequent Service standard.

    Now, Frequent Service is defined as running “every 15 minutes or better, during morning and afternoon rush hour.”

    Lesson for business and consumers: If you set a standard and can’t maintain it, just redefine the standard.

  21. hosehead says:

    I am in Manhattan. I have absolutely no issue with the increase. It is still an unbelievable bargain. For about $1,200 you can cover all of your transportation costs a year, and if you have TransitChek, you can have it all pre-tax as well. Between bus and subway coverage, you can get anywhere you need to go for this price.

    Does it stink that prices are going up? Sure. But I also realize that the true, non-subsidized cost would probably be much, much higher than the planned $104/month.

    • BurtReynolds says:

      Exactly. Think MTA sucks? Try riding DC Metro. Not nearly as convenient and much more expensive. I’d argue MTA is safer too. I wish DC and it’s suburbs had a train system like MTA and the commuter trains onto the city.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Where do you live that you don’t have convenient rail access into DC? I agree some parts of the suburbs are a little farther from the rail line, but DC isn’t nearly as big and dense as NYC is, so it’s kind of apples and oranges. Sure, if you live in the middle of nowhere, you’ll find it impossible to metro into the city but Falls Church, Vienna, Springfield, and the suburbs of Maryland have rail access. The DC area also has VRE and MARC trains.

      • nbs2 says:

        It would be nice if the bordering counties had a train system like MTA. Maybe, in honor of the Metropolitan Washington area, they could call it Metro.

        As for commuter trains, it would be nice if there were a few lines that ran to major destinations. In VA, perhaps a line out into NoVA, following 66, and one dropping south along 95? In MD, we could have a line going up 270 and a line or two going up 95. The Virgina trains could highlight their express nature and call themselves the Virginia Railway Express. The Maryland trains would highlight their broad coverage and call themselves the Maryland Area Rail Commuter.

        What do you think?

        • BurtReynolds says:

          VRE is great if you live in Manassas or Woodbridge. If you don’t you are sitting in traffic on the DTR. Getting parking at WFC is near impossible if you don’t get there at 5 AM, plus it isn’t an express train. That will be the downfall of the “Silver Line” to Dulles. Can you imagine commuting from Reston and stopping everywhere in between before you get into Arlington or DC? It will take as long as driving and probably cost nearly as much after paying for parking and fares.

          My point wasn’t that this area has no commuter rails, just that between LIRR, Metro North, and PATH the NY/NJ/CT area is far and away better off than than the VA/DC/MD area.

          • pecan 3.14159265 says:

            What? That’s the entire premise of a line. You make stops. It’s like saying “can you imagine living out in Springfield and going all the way around Arlington Cemetery just to get to Metro Center?” It’s the damn route, take it or leave it. If you live in Reston and you don’t want to stop for half a minute each at three or four stops before you get into Arlington, you’re more than welcome to drive there. I don’t see the problem you have with there being stops…on a transit line..seriously.

  22. outlulz says:

    This seems to happen with most public transportation systems. Cut service, usually in lower income areas, and raise fares. Has happened multiple times in Los Angeles with MTA.

  23. Machine Gun Tommy says:

    Something to note: If you’re only using the Transit for work/school (or you’re like me and you commute from NJ) it’s actually now significantly cheaper to just put money on a card. I had calculated it.

    I don’t really come into the city on weekends (again, NJ) so going to and from work every day for the month of January at $2.25 a ride comes out to $90 (MLK Day taken into account) which is only $1 more then what the unlimited is now.

    LOTS of people like me commute into NYC from elsewhere. We also just had NJ raise their fares by a whopping 25%. These fare hikes are really hurt my bottom line. But it’s good to know that you can now get around it relatively. You’d need to swipe an unlimited about 50 times at that amount for it to pay off.

  24. EverCynicalTHX says:

    Still a good deal if you live in the city, I pay more than that for car insurance each month..never mind the maintenance and car payment.

  25. sopmodm14 says:

    its disgusting really, when i was in high school, they had such a surplus that they made a buy10, get 11 rides deal

    the very next year on vacation from college, it was gone, and in the following yrs fares have gone up, yet my old trainstation looks just as hideous and same with the trains

    i’m paying more for getting less and less ?

    the only other alternative is a car, which sucks in itself in NYC

  26. Mcshonky says:

    Follow up question for Consumerist to ask MTA….

    What is YOUR cost of the physical Metrocard and why are you charging a dollar for new ones when the reader we use to check the value left on the card NEVER is able to read the card.

  27. belliqua says:

    Boo freaking hoo. Vancouver BC has an excellent system compared to most cities but it still pales in comparison to the reaches of NYC’s, and it costs a hell of a lot more.

    We’re split into three zones, one zone travel is$ 2.50, two zone is $3.75, and if you want to get from one end of the system to the other (three zones) it’s a whopping FIVE DOLLARS. And the tickets are only good for an hour and a half, so for the long trips, like from the airport to say Pitt Meadows it’s practically 5 dollars each way.
    Our monthly cards? One zone is $81, two zone is $115, three zone is wait for it.. $151. It’s practically punishing the people who live out in the suburbs, in most cases for them it’s cheaper gas wise to take their car to work than the transit. How sad is that?

  28. FilthyHarry says:

    If only there was some way to torrent public mass transportation!

  29. Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

    Kwitcher bitchin’, NY. In Toronto we pay $3 for a cash fare, $10 for four tokens, $35 for a weekly pass, or $121 for a monthly Metropass–though the monthly pass does come with a little love from the federal government in form of an income tax break. I’m guessing only because it’s an election year they’ve not talked about raising fares. Just wait for the new mayor and city council to spew hot air and cry poor over the big mean unions which they won’t do diddly squat about, and invariably fares will go up again, along with property taxes and whatever else they can figure out to raise revenue.

  30. 451.6 says:

    Are you kidding? I’d love to pay 100 bucks for a monthly pass on the DC Metro. I pay $8/day to get to Capitol South from my metro stop. And that doesn’t even include parking.

  31. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    It’s happening everywhere. Not just New York.
    Transit is subsidized by taxes – often over 50%.
    $104/month comes nowhere close to covering the cost of your rides.

    Free roads? Why not free transit?
    http://thestar.blogs.com/yourcitymycity/2010/09/over-the-past-10-years-if-you-could-identify-one-defining-moment-what-would-that-be.html

  32. Rachacha says:

    In DC, I pay over $9/day just to ride the train (not including the $4.25/day for parking) which equates to about $225/typical month all while decreasing service. I would love to have half of NYC service for $104/month.

  33. Etoiles says:

    $100 a month for the NYC subway is still loads better than down here in DC. My commute is $8.50 a day now and the trains don’t run reliably enough for me to count on getting around town on them on the weekends.

    Man, I miss the MTA. Rats and all.

  34. miss_roxxan says:

    So what happened to the 30 day limited unlimited card thing that maxed out at 90 uses? I was okay with that one since I use my card about 70 times in a month on average and it would give me good wiggle-room still. $104 is still cheaper than paying for each ride, but :(

  35. Cicadymn says:

    It’s what happens when a country is literally bankrupt

  36. Galium says:

    Even mass transit is not immune from the shrink ray. My biggest question is why the shrink ray never affects politicians? My best guess is that it is because they are always being hit with the expand ray and it counters the affect.