So, the MTA offered some more information about the kinds of fare hikes they want to see. According to CityRoom, "Not only is it seeking an 8 percent increase in revenue from fares and tolls, to take effect July 2009, but also an additional 5 percent to take effect by January 2011 — for a cumulative increase of 13.4 percent over just 18 months."

While MTA CEO Eliot Sander said, "I recognize that what we are proposing is difficult, but our challenges are sobering," the Daily News reports that board members said the "authority can do more to find savings - but others conceded that the MTA can't cut its way out of the financial crisis."

How that translates to riders is unclear, but given that the hoped-for 8% increase in revenue after a 2009 fare hike is expected to come from a 25-cent increase in the base fare, so perhaps in 2011 the MTA will tinker with discounting and unlimited Metrocards fare hikes similar to this year. And he Times has an editorial today, saying the MTA really needs help, "Legislators, especially those in Albany, bear an even greater responsibility to help after they rejected a congestion-pricing plan that would have brought the M.T.A. $500 million in additional funds annually. They spurned it anyway, leaving the M.T.A. to rattle a cup and riders to reach ever deeper into their pockets."