Tonight's the first of 9 public hearings being held by the MTA board on the matter of the proposed fare hikes. In order to increase fares and tolls by 7.5%, the board is considering a variety of cuts; the most controversial of these would be the elimination of the Unlimited ride MetroCard. This would max out a monthly "unlimited" card at 90 trips, and put a cap of 21 rides on weekly "unlimited" cards. To recap, here are the other changes being proposed:

  • 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
  • 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.

As an alternative to the limited "capped" weekly and monthly cards, the MTA may also offer a monthly Unlimited card for $130, and a 7-Day Unlimited card for $38. According to Second Avenue Sagas, "It isn’t a Doomsday scenario, but it’s a big blow to the psyche of New York’s straphangers long used to riding the rails as often as they want for under $100 a month." But Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign tells the Daily News he suspects the threat of a $130 monthly fare is just a ploy to make a compromise hike seem more palatable. "I don't consider the $130 a real number," says Russianoff.

Tonight's hearing takes place in The Great Hall at Cooper Union; all hearings begin at 6 p.m. Registration opens at 5 p.m. and closes at 9 p.m.; all registered speakers will be heard. The full list of hearing locations is below:

Monday, September 13
The Cooper Union — The Great Hall
7 East 7th Street at Third Avenue

Hilton Garden Inn
15 Crossroads Court
Newburgh, Orange County

Wednesday, September 15
Hostos Community College — (CUNY) Main Theater
450 Grand Concourse

Thursday, September 16
St. George Theatre
35 Hyatt Street
Staten Island

The Garden City Hotel
45 Seventh Street
Garden City, Nassau

Monday, September 20
Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel
135-20 39th Avenue
Flushing, Queens

Suffolk County Legislature
725 Veterans Memorial Highway
Smithtown, Suffolk

Tuesday, September 21
White Plains Performing Arts Center
11 City Place, 3rd Floor City Center
White Plains, Westchester

Brooklyn Museum — Cantor Auditorium
200 Eastern Parkway