The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is going to be raising fares and tolls for subways, buses, railroads, bridges, tunnels, and everything and anything else under their control. In typical MTA fashion rather than announcing a specific proposal they announced that yes fares and tolls are absolutely going up we just can’t tell you how at this point. However the MTA was kind enough to float a few different plans under consideration.
In terms of subways and buses the debate is essentially to raise the fare overall while also raising the pay-per-ride bonus (this is where the MTA generously gives riders a few cents back for re-filling metro cards) or to keep the fare as is but eliminate the pay-per-ride bonus. Both seven and thirty day unlimited cards will rise.
As most commuters, particularly in the five boroughs express their metro card outrage the toll hike regarding bridges and tunnels has as of yet received much vitriol. This is problematic because the writing on the wall in this regard is not pretty. Courtesy of the New York Post here four bullet points in regards to toll hikes:
- The Verrazano Bridge cash toll for cars goes from $15 to $16
- The Verrazano E-Z Pass toll for Staten Island residents who take two or more trips a month would rise from $6 to $6.24. For other E-Z Pass users it would go from $10.66 to $11.08.
- The cash toll at the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, Midtown Tunnel, Triborough, and Throgs Neck bridges would rise to $8 from $7.50. E-Z Pass rates for the aforementioned tunnels and bridges would jump from $5.33 to $5.54
- Cash tolls would stay the same and truck drivers would absorb all of the hikes.
It is in our best interest to reiterate that last point, cash tolls would stay the same and truck drivers would absorb all of the hikes. So everyone is clear the theory behind this anti industry measure is twofold. First, the MTA gets to puff its chest out and explain to the everyday commuters that they increased revenue without increasing the cost for them. Second, they continue to operate under the theory that the deteriorating state of our infrastructure is the sole responsibility of the large machines who give said infrastructure a pounding on a multi-daily basis. This anti industry propaganda has been around for a while and it has been very effective. As an aside the blame the trucks campaign is one reason why a gas tax is such an unpopular solution to the infrastructure question. The MTA has come up with multiple proposals to share the cost of revenue among all commuters but it is the single proposal to punish industry that the MTA is likely to enact.