It's likely that the MTA board will approve fare increases on monthly and weekly unlimited Metrocards (and impose limitations on the unlimited cards) when they meet next week. There's no doubt that the MTA will implement a 7.5 percent fare hike in January, the only question is how the pain will be spread around. According to NY1, most, if not all, of the options currently proposed will be approved by the board. These include:

  • Raising the monthly MetroCard from $89 to $99
  • Raising the weekly MetroCard from $27 to $29
  • Increasing single-ride paper subway tickets to $2.50
  • Max out a monthly "unlimited" card at 90 trips, and put a cap of 21 rides on weekly "unlimited" cards.
  • Charging a dollar for a new card when customers don’t refill old ones.
  • Close dozens of subway booths, costing more than 200 workers their jobs.

Explaining the proposed dollar fee for a new card, William Henderson of the MTA Citizens Advisory Committee says, "A new MetroCard, it’s not quite a dollar, but there is a cost there. There’s a cost in cleaning up when people just sort of toss the MetroCards on the floor after they're done with them. So we hate to see any increase in cost, but that‘s one that at least has a rationale behind it."

Paul Steely White of Transportation Alternatives thinks the state is hanging NYC commuters out to dry. "Last month, we had the deepest service cuts in a generation and now we're being asked to pay more as riders for our subways and buses," says White. "It's just not fair. It's not mass transit if the masses can't afford it. We need drivers to pay their fair share. Right now there’s too many free riders, on our East River bridges in particular, and by instituting some form of congestion pricing we can prevent this fare hike."