After an uproar, the MTA seems to be backing away from a proposal to do away with the unlimited MetroCard. Next week the board will vote on a cocktail of fare hikes, but it's looking like a cap on unlimited cards won't be in the mix. MTA Chairman & CEO Jay Walder tells NY1, "There wasn't a lot of enthusiasm for the idea of a capped pass. I think that message has been heard loud and clear. I expect you'll see that in what comes forward to the board." But there's bad news for drivers who don't use EZ-Pass.
The Post reports that the MTA is considering a toll hike of $1 on drivers who don't use E-ZPass. And for straphangers, the cost of a monthly unlimited MetroCard is expected to go from $89 to $104. The weekly unlimited MetroCard would go from $27 to $29. The preservation of the unlimited is "bittersweet" according to Straphangers Campaign director Gene Russianoff, who tells NY1, "A $15 increase is a lot of money. It's $180 a year that people are going to have to dig deeper into their pockets."
Transportation Alternatives, meanwhile, says don't blame the MTA for the fare hikes, blame Albany. "We're already looking at $750 million in savings from some of the cuts they've made to their bureaucracy," says Paul Steely White. "So I think the MTA is really doing all that it can. And now it's up to the State Legislature to finally give our transit system the funding it needs to be sustainable." We're in good hands.