The MTA not only mentioned the fare hike for 2006 but also warned about another fare hike in 2007, due to the budget deficit that will just keeping ballooning. Why is there a crazy deficit ($400 million more expected for next year, on top of the the current $700 million gap)? The lack of city and state aid in recent years. The MTA acknowledges this is a challenge and emphasizes the need for more aid from the city and state governments. The NY Times notes Straphangers' spokeperson Gene Russianoff saying, "Enough is enough. The governor needs to step forward now if he wants to prevent continual price hikes and service cuts." Word. The NYT also has an assemblyman saying the 2006 increase is looking to by about 25% in 2006, and some say the increase could be as high as 50% over the next seven years. Oh, boy. To beat a dead horse, Gothamist totally understands that keeping the NYC transit system takes a lot of money, and we're grateful for what we get, but having fare hikes year after year (or two) just gets wearying. We wonder if the MTA should become semi-privatized, to clean up the books a little - just something so the bulk of the New Yorkers were really rely on the system can take advantage of it. Oh, and it would be nice if the state could kick in some more money.

The Daily News has an editorial about the MTA "railroading straphangers": "The MTA will hold hearings to take riders' plaints before sticking them with yet another steep fare increase and service reductions. When that happens, just remember who's ultimately responsible: [Governor] George Pataki, [State Senator] Joe Bruno and [Assembly Speaker] Sheldon Silver. They'll disagree. We know better."

Gothamist on the proposed fare hike and all our posts on the MTA.