After a string of sparsely attended hearings the MTA board this week will be voting on just how much or how little of a fare hike to give straphangers in the new year—and interestingly it looks like they may be picking a totally different plan than the four options they proposed before the hearings. And while it won't be getting ticker tape parades, it also isn't the worst thing ever.

The MTA board won't be voting on a final fare hike package until Wednesday, but according to reports it looks increasingly likely that it will end up something like this:


- Base fare: up a quarter, to $2.50 from $2.25.
- MetroCard bonus: trimmed to 5% from 7%.
- Seven-day MetroCard: up a buck, to $30 from $29.
- Thirty-day MetroCard: raised $8, to $112 from $104.



And, all things considered, if we have to have a fare hike (and the MTA says we do) then this seems fair? For example, this latest option, instead of cutting the MetroCard bonus entirely as had been proposed, would lower the threshold for the bonus from $10 to $5 (though it would lower the bonus from 7% to 5%). Which means that for anyone with $5 the effective fare would be $2.37. Of course this could still get worse—for instance, the MTA could at the last second decide to go with that $125 30-day unlimited MetroCard option.