A ride on the D train and a trip on the Bx12 Select is about to become pricier than ever — and pricier yet in the next four years. The MTA has resolved to raise fares for New York City buses and subways, effective March 22. The unanimous vote by the MTA board last Thursday will change base rates from $2.50 to $2.75, the cost of single-ride tickets from $2.75 to $3.00, the cost of a seven-day unlimited MetroCard from $30 to $31 and the cost of a monthly unlimited MetroCard from $112 to $116.50.
Fordham students and faculty can expect to dole out more cash as they travel across the city, but some will also find their commute to tri-state area residences more expensive, as the change also includes a four percent toll hike at MTA bridges and tunnels and an approximated four percent increase on Metro North and Long Island Railroad prices.
“The twenty minute trip from Fordham to Grand Central Station already costs $6.75, but at least students can use the subway as an alternative if they are traveling from the Bronx into Manhattan,” said Joe Mogavero, FCRH ’17, of Long Island, New York.
“However, an $18 round trip ticket from my home on Long Island to Penn Station is already immediately vexing without the idea of a fare hike. The difference is that students don’t have an alternative, cheaper way to reach Long Island without having a car.”
Kristen Magaldi, FCRH ’15, also feels the strain of LIRR prices when she visits her parents in Massapequa, New York. “It’s insanely expensive already to travel home,” Magaldi said. “$25 round trip tickets during peak hours add up very quickly.”
This is the fourth fare hike the MTA has implemented in the past seven years, with two percent fare increases for the next year projected by transit officials. A recent MTA budget report states that the transportation agency is facing a $15 billion dollar gap in their proposal for a $32 billion, five-year capital plan. The MTA is reportedly seeking increased contributions from alternative funding sources, such as New York State and New York City, which have contributed approximately $100 million a year since the 1980s.
The question remains whether these gradual fare hikes will have an effect on closing the budget gap.
“I understand that the MTA needs to raise fares, but considering that there is a $15.2 billion funding shortfall, it seems that it’s not being as efficient as it could be and that there could be cuts elsewhere,” said Steve Falzone, GSB ’15.
According to the New York Times, New York City subways have had a record number of passengers in recent years, often opening its doors to over six million riders per day. Despite being the twentieth most expensive urban public transportation system in the world, as reported by the Business Insider, New York subway stations are notorious for their excessive uncleanliness. The Metro North and Long Island Railroad also wrest with a record of unpredictable service.
“The trains are always late and it seems like as the service gets worse, the fares seem to go up,” said Chris Cavanaugh, FCRH ’12. The Fordham alum frequents the Metro North from Fleetwood to Grand Central for his commute to work. “Even the current prices are definitely not fair.”
Patrick Janezco, FCRH ’17, a native of Rockaway Beach, has observed fare hikes for the better part of his life. “I remember that the subway used to be so much cheaper, but I always had a student metro card,” said Janezco, referring to his high school commute to Brooklyn Tech.
“Regardless, our public transportation system is one of the better ones. I mean, unless you live in eastern Queens or something,” he said.