MTA Fare Hike Vote Postponed, Transit Sources Say
The MTA plans to postpone its vote on how to break down the looming subway and bus fare hike, transit sources said.
The agency’s board was expected to vote on a possible fare hike Thursday, but two transit sources told News 4 that uncertainty over the L train, as well as a last-minute proposal by a board member to have no fare increase unless the MTA meets certain benchmarks, compelled the board to delay the vote.
The vote will likely be postponed until next month at the earliest, the sources said.
Board members were planning to weigh three different options during the vote. The first option — raise the base fare to $3 and keep a 10 percent bonus for buying monthly MetroCards. The second — keep the base fare at $2.75, but eliminate the bonus. The third choice is one that commuters may like the best — no fare hike unless the MTA meets certain performance goals.
If the board ultimately chooses the latter option, it could trigger a two-week holding pattern and more public hearings would be held before any vote takes place. The fare hike had been set to take effect in March.
On Tuesday, MTA committee members were met with an earful from riders imploring them not to approve the long-planned fare hike, something commuters have been dreading.
In a statement, the MTA said its “board will have a robust discussion and decide on the best course of action in the context of the MTA’s dire financial position, which requires fare and toll increases as well as new, sustainable, adequate sources of funding in order to balance the budget while avoiding painful service cuts.”
The MTA approved a $17 billion budget for 2019 last December that assumes a series of broad fare hikes.