March 11, 2019
MTA Announces Rate and Toll Hikes for 2019
NoMad crosses most of the north south subways lines in New York City and ridership at the stations on these lines has increased tremendously over the past few years. Most of us, traveling from all parts of the city, find it convenient to get here because the accessibility to a matchless array of subway lines that get us here. That’s the good news.
Unfortunately for all of us, daily commutes are about to get a little more expensive. On Wednesday, February 27, 2019, the New York MTA board voted to approve a series of rate increases for subways, buses, trains and bridge/tunnel tolls.
The rate hikes are not spread evenly across the board, and they will affect some travelers more than others. Here are the highlights you need to know:
- Single rides for subways, buses and paratransit will remain at $2.75. However, the 5-percent bonus for multiple rides will be eliminated, so those paying per ride by loading up their MetroCard will get fewer rides for their money.
- Unlimited ride fares are going up. The 7-day unlimited ride MetroCard will increase by a dollar, to $33. The 30-day MetroCard is jumping to $127 per month.
- Metro-North and Long Island Railroad prices are going up, too. Rates are calculated by time and distance, but they will be capped overall at a 3.85 percent increase.
- Tolls on bridges and tunnels are going up. Drivers using an EZ-pass will experience a 6-percent toll increase, while non-EZ-pass users will see an increase of 11.8 percent. Bridge tolls in general are going up, too.
The bridge and tunnel toll increases will begin March 31st. The transit and train fare increases will go into effect on April 21st.
Why Commute Costs Are Going Up
While the MTA has approved modest rate increases every couple of years, the board says these rate hikes are necessary to mitigate an ongoing financial crisis and facilitate costly repairs for the aging subway system. As the Times reports, transit leaders have suggested that without the rate increases, the MTA would be forced to make service cuts. Still, the increases, they say, are below inflation rates, and they won’t solve the MTA’s financial problems entirely.
State and local legislatures are still evaluating how much additional funding they will contribute. Governor Cuomo and Mayor DiBlasio are also throwing support behind a push for “congestion pricing,” which would charge additional tolls for NYC drivers in the busiest parts of Manhattan to procure more funding for the MTA.
Opposition to the Increases Grows
While some commuters will experience only a modest sting at turnstiles, the rate increases are not without controversy on multiple sides. In 2017, the subway system suffered its worst on-time record in decades, a reality still fresh in the minds of disgruntled commuters despite recent reports that on-time rates have improved by 50 percent in the past year. Still, weekends are disastrous in the subway system as they have been for at least the last four or five years, with trains not in service or rerouted, stations closed or skipped, local trains on express tracks and vice versa, poor announcements, and lengthy wait times.
And as the New York Daily News reports, even though the MTA board approved the rate hikes by a vote of 9-2, a number of board members expressed discontent that they felt it necessary to raise rates on faithful commuters without actually knowing what state and local subsidies would be in the coming months. As board member Veronica Vanterpool put it, “We keep asking riders to put their contribution into our system first before we know what the state and city is going to do.”
NoMad is serviced by ten subway lines running through four major arteries of Manhattan’s subway system: 1) The 4 and 6 Lines run through the 28th and 23rd Street stations on Park Avenue; the M and F Lines stop at 23rd Street and Sixth Avenue; the N, R, Q and W Lines serve 28th and 23rd Street Stations on Broadway; and the 7th Avenue Line’s No. 1 Train stops at both 28th and 23rd Street on Seventh Avenue.