MTA Board Approves Fare And Toll Hikes

NEW YORK - Say goodbye to the MetroCard bonus.

It will disappear under a package of fare increases overwhelmingly approved by the MTA board on Wednesday.

All but two of the 13 voting members approved the fare hike.

The base bus and subway fare of $2.75 will not change, but the 5 percent bonus for putting two or more rides on a MetroCard will end.

The cost of an unlimited seven-day pass will increase $1 to $33, and 30 day passes will now cost $127, a $6 jump.

Tolls at MTA tunnels and bridges will also rise by about four percent for drivers using E-Z pass, and even more for those who don’t. At the Verrazzano Narrows Bridge, the basic non-e-z pass toll, which is imposed only on Staten Island bound traffic, will increase to $19, from $17.

Board members say they do not want to boost fares and tolls, but see no alternative to tackle the MTA’s projected budget deficits.

“I don’t think anybody relishes this vote today but i think it’s important to keep this agency running,” said MTA Board Member Polly Trottenberg.

The increases will generate $330 million a year, covering only part of a projected operating annual shortfall of nearly $500 million.

The new revenue will not pay for new trains, signals or other capital projects. For that, Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio have proposed charging drivers for entering Manhattan below 61st Street.

Board Member Andrew Saul voted against the increases, saying the MTA does not have its house in order.

“We have huge overruns on capital construction,” Saul said. “We have huge overruns on overtime and you go down the list, this place is not managed efficiently and the riders are getting screwed.”

The toll increase goes into effect on March 31. The subway and bus increase goes into effect on April 21. So, if you’re looking for that bonus from bulk MetroCard buys, you should do so before then.