The Metropolitan Transit Authority board voted Wednesday morning to increase fares across the city's mass transit system, including subways, buses, LIRR trains and tolls.
Citing ongoing budget issues, rising pension costs and unexpected overruns as a result of Hurricane Sandy, the board approved a four-year capital plan on Wednesday that the transit giant hopes will allow it to balance its budget.
Fare hikes are as follows:
- Base train and bus fare will rise to $2.50 from $2.25
- Monthly Metrocards will go to $112 from $104.
- Weekly Metrocards will go to $30 from $29
- The bonus fare ceiling on pay-per-ride cards will drop from $10 to $5, but the actual bonus will drop from 7 percent to 5 percent.
- A $1 new card surcharge will be added to each card purchased to encourage riders to refill old cards.
- LIRR fares will increase between 8 and 10 percent.
All fare increases and surcharges will start in March 2013. The fare hikes have been floated by the MTA since October.
In addition to the increased cost of mass transit, bridge and tunnel tolls will also be climbing.
- Westbound cash users on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge will now pay $15 to cross.
- The cash toll will now be $7.50 at the Queens-Midtown Tunnel, RFK Bridge, Throgs Neck Bridge, Bronx-Whitestone Bridge and Hugh L. Carey Tunnel.
Mark Epstein, of the Long Island Rail Road Commuters Council, said the fare hike was coming at a bad time for riders.
“By today’s Board vote, Long Island Rail Road riders are being hit with a substantial fare increase when many are struggling to make ends meet, and what is even more disturbing is that riders had no vote on these fare hikes," Epstein said.
City Comptroller John Liu also thought the fare increases would hit those least able to bear the burden.
“The MTA fare hikes are unfortunate because they fall disproportionately on low-income New Yorkers, and they hurt even worse because so many are still reeling from the economic effects of the recent recession and Superstorm Sandy," Liu said. "New Yorkers already pay a disproportionately high price for mass transit. The MTA needs to look for more support from the City, state, and federal governments and not try to balance its books on the backs of straphangers.”