The MTA is hard at work trying to figure out the least offensive way to take more money from you. Though another round of fare hikes is pretty much a done deal, imagining what exactly the proposed hikes will look like when announced next week is a fun game. Enter the Daily News' Pete Donohue, who once again claims to know the future. And it is looking expensive for commuters!

According to Donahue, the MTA has narrowed its budget options down to four different types of hikes. Two of the possible fare hikes will keep the base at $2.25:

  • One would reduce the pay-per-ride MetroCard bonus from seven percent to five percent, charge $34 (up $5) for weekly unlimited MetroCards and $125 (up $21) for the monthly.

  • The other would drop the bonus entirely, but would only increase the the weekly MetroCard to $32 and the monthly to $119.

The other options that the MTA is considering would raise the base fare to $2.50 but would increase the monthly and weekly fares far less (depending on how deeply the Authority decides to cut into the historic pay-per-ride MetroCard bonus). So what'll it be? The MTA "can't confirm or deny" any of the budgets outlined in the News today—so we'll have to wait until next Monday to find out.

Obviously nobody really wants another fare hike. "If these higher fares go through, there will have been four subway and bus fare hikes in five years," agitates Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign. "It is time for Gov. Cuomo and the state Legislature to come to the rescue and find new transit aid." But something, sadly, must be done to keep the MTA budget in line and nice new station entrances coming. And MetroCard ads for the Gap are not going to fill the hole. As for the state legislature, well... they're a little preoccupied.