We've known for some time that MTA is going to roll out a new budget next month—and that it probably won't make straphangers happy. But how bad will it be? Well, the Authority—which has a whole new set of financial headaches now in addition to ongoing contract issues—is starting to slip out info to soften the blow before budgets are officially released next month. So, you ready to spend more money on your commute?

So far three big pieces of a potential budget have slipped out, and you probably aren't going to like any of them:

  • Eliminate the seven percent MetroCard bonus. As we talked about last week, the MTA is mulling dropping (or reducing) its longstanding bonus.

  • Raise the base fare. The MTA is expected to propose raising the base fare for a ride to $2.50 from $2.25. Which isn't that bad when you remember all those predictions of a $3 fare by 2014 just last year? Right?

  • Raise the price of the unlimited-ride MetroCard. Right now a 7-day card costs $29 and a monthly costs $104. The MTA is expected to propose upping that about five percent to $30 and $109 respectively.

In addition to those proposals, the MTA is also expected to make it a bit pricier to use Metro-North and the LIRR, as well as cross one of its nine bridges and tunnels. By how much is unclear.

But those aren't the only proposals the MTA is working on in advance of next month. Things could change very quickly for the better or worse: right now 64 or the MTA's 65 employee unions are operating without a contract and the 2013 budget assumes that workers are not getting any raises—an idea union leaders have not been fond of in the ongoing negotiations.

But hey, at least proposed the hike—which would be our first since December 2010—isn't as big as the recent taxi fare hike? Plus hey! At least the G extension is now permanent?