The deal with the MTA


The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has a special deal for you: Pay for a dozen fares during the week using its touchless OMNY system, and get free rides until the end of the weekend.

Too good to be true? Well, it’s definitely true. Whether it’s good or not is up for debate.

To take advantage of this particular deal, commuters would have to shell out $33 in fares. That just happens to be the same price as a seven-day unlimited MetroCard, but slightly more than just buying a 30-day unlimited pass for $127.

To achieve a dozen trips in a week, you’d have to take transit to and from work Monday through Friday, and then take two more trips on the weekend. Unfortunately, the MTA’s own ridership data shows a typical Bronx commuter takes transit less than once per day, meaning very few will actually benefit from this offer.

Ridership is slowly ticking back up on the MTA in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, but the system has struggled in attracting riders for quite some time. Subways are focused almost solely on getting in and out of Manhattan, while buses seem to take almost nonsensical routes at times, making a simple trip from one side of the Bronx to the other an arduous journey akin to traveling the Oregon Trail.

If the MTA would really like to offer a deal, how about instead of a single transfer, riders can get unlimited transfers within a couple hours? That’s essential in the Bronx, where getting from one point to the next might involve a train and a couple buses.

It might also explain why the Bronx has the highest fare evasion rate in the city — one out of every five riders. That and maybe the threshold for reduced fares remains too high.

If record gas prices seem more appealing than taking a subway or bus, then something’s not working. High fares? Never-ending maintenance? The MTA hasn’t worked in a long time.

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