Monday, March 30, 2009

MTA Raises Fares, Metro Will Not

Yikes. The MTA, which manages the New York City subway and bus systems, recently decided to raise fares and cut services across the board. The base subway and bus fare will rise from $2.00 to $2.50, a 25% increase. An equivalent increase for Metro would have the $1.35 base fare jump to $1.69. A rush hour trip from King Street to Metro Center now costs $2.85. It would increase to $3.56. However, it does appear that Metro will not raise fares this year.

The cuts in New York are striking. Two subway lines will be completely eliminated, the W and Z lines. The W line traveled from Astoria, Queens to South Ferry in Manhattan. The Z traveled form Jamaica, Queens to Broad Street in Manhattan. MTA is covering the eliminated subway routes with modified routes from other lines. In addition more than 30 bus routes are being eliminated including overnight, weekend and weekday services. Some routes are loosing portions of the route, or are losing overnight service. Millions of dollars will be "saved," or not spent in other words.

Metro has announced some potential service cuts, mostly on suburban bus routes. They've eliminated or frozen jobs in the central office and are attempting to use Federal stimulus money to close other budget gaps, on capital costs mostly (PDF). While will not see a fare hike this year on rail, Metro is considering converting some bus routes from local to express, and charging the higher express fare. I wouldn't be surprised if Metro raised fares across the board next year, if there is a similar budget gap. Count your stars we aren't in for MTA like cuts and fare increases this time around.