The MTA voted to increase subway/bus fares and car tolls, as well as close down 164 station booths, next year. This came as no surprise, since the MTA had floated the idea to the public a few months ago. Commuters were angry, especially since fares increased last year... remember there was a day when the fares were $1.50? Anyway, the big changes are for people who use unlimited Metrocards: Monthly cards are now going to be $76 (from the current $70) and weekly cards go up $3 to $24. While this is no fun, it's better than the earlier suggested increases of 20%. Gothamist has to echo to words of other people who spoke out against the fare hikes last night, including a Trasport Workers Union member, who said, "You are the most disliked and most dissed public authority in New York."

The fare hike will go into effect on February 15. And the MTA says the next fare hike will be in 2007, which is part of MTA Chairman Peter Kalikow's plan for "fare increases every four years, and minor adjustments every two years." So that means the base fare of $2 will probably go up - perhaps to $2.25 or $2.50. Start working on your city biking skills, everyone!