Transit authority hikes fares — again


Taking the train just got more expensive. 

On Dec. 19, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority approved a 2013 budget that includes increases in fares and tolls that will take effect in March.

The base fare for subways and buses will increase from $2.25 to $2.50 beginning Friday, March 1. The 30-day unlimited-ride MetroCard will jump $8, from $104 to $112.

The MTA will begin charging $1 to purchase a new MetroCard, but will reduce the threshold for getting a bonus discount.

 Instead of having to spend $10 to get  the deal, riders who load at least  $5 will get  a 25-cent bonus for every $5 spent. 

The actual discount, however, has been reduced from 7 to 5 percent and adds up to a  single-ride price of $2.38.

Metro-North prices are also on the rise. The cost of monthly passes will increase by $15, going from $178 to $193. One-way tickets from the Riverdale, Spuyten Duyvil or Marble Hill stations will increase from $7.50 to $8.25 during peak hours and from $5.75 to $6.25 during off peak hours, according to the MTA.

Access-A-Ride fares will go from $2.25 to $2.50.

Express bus rider will go from paying $5.50 in cash per ride to $6. With the MetroCard bonus, a single ride will cost $5.71. The seven-day express bus MetroCard will increase from $50 to $55.

Riverdalians who drive downtown were spared an increase on the Henry Hudson Bridge, which saw a toll hike in 2010. Tolls at many other bridges and tunnels will rise from $4.80 to $5.33 for E-Z Pass holders and from $6.50 to $7.50 for those who use cash.

The $2.50 base fare is double what it was in 1995. At the end of that year, the MTA raised the fare to $1.50. It then jumped to $2 in 2003 and, again, to $2.25 in 2009. While the base fare held steady at $2.25 in 2010, a single-ride ticket increased to $2.50.

When asked about the fare increases while waiting for a No. 1 train to depart from the West 242nd Street station last week, Elizer Mercado rolled his eyes. 

 “It’s ridiculous. Every year mass transit always has something up their sleeves. Is it because of poor construction, technology, this and that? It doesn’t matter because the commuter is always the one to pay the price,” Mr. Mercado said. 

Alexander Villa, a Riverdale resident who commutes to midtown Manhattan, said he’s looking at paying $96 more for monthly MetroCards.

“It’s too high already, but what can you do?” he said. “Nothing.”