By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Subways, buses, bridges and tunnels to cost more
Your MetroCard won't take you as far as it used to starting at 12:01 a.m. this Sunday, March 3.
That's when the MTA is hiking fares -- from $2.25 to $2.50 for subways, local buses and Access-A-Rides, and to $6 from $5.50 on express buses.
Adding to the pain, a single ride ticket purchased from MetroCard vending machines is rising to $2.75 from $2.50.
The 30-day unlimited-ride MetroCard is going up, too - to $112, up from $104. (The New York Post notes that at this time in 2008, the same card cost just $76 -- an incredible 47 percent increase in five years.)
And for the first time, a $1 fee will be charged for each new MetroCard purchased at a MetroCard vending machine or station booth -- before you even load it up.
Discounts will kick in starting with a $5 card.
- You need to spend just $11.90 to get exactly five rides.
- You must ride the subway 13 times (two rides per workday and three on the weekend) to make a 7-day MetroCard worthwhile.
- And you must ride the subway 48 times (two rides per workday and eight on the weekend) to make a 30-day unlimited MetroCard worthwhile.
MTA says they need the revenue -- citing increases in the cost of energy, pensions, and health care. Some straphangers, however, said they’ll try to work from home to save on commuting costs.
Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President Carlo Scissura testified against the MetroCard increases last November, saying they would take money out of the pockets of business owners and their customers.
“For riders who use pay-per-ride MetroCards, the proposed increases could mean more than $200 a year in additional costs. For those who use a monthly MetroCard, their total costs could rise $252 a year,” he said.
New fares averaging roughly 9 percent will go into effect on the LIRR and Metro-North on Friday, March 1. New toll rates on the seven bridges and two tunnels that are operated by the MTA will go into effect at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 3.
Scissura said these toll increases will also affect people who don't drive. "Trucks and other vehicles would also have to pay more, which will be reflected in the higher price of shipped goods. That affects all businesses -- big and small," he said.
More information about this weekend's fare hikes can be found here.