Friday, 15 March 2013 00:00
Even with “Fare Increase for Buses” (March 8), using Metropolitan Transportation Authority buses and subways are still one of the best bargains in town. Since the 1950s, the average cost of riding either the bus, subway or commuter rail has gone up at a lower rate than either the consumer price index or inflation. The Metro Card introduced in 1996 affords a free transfer between bus and subway. Prior to this, riders had to pay two full fares. Purchasing either a weekly or monthly pass further reduces the cost per ride. Many employers offer transit checks, which pay even more of your costs.
Like it or not, fare hikes in 2013 and 2015 are probably justified if the MTA is to provide the services millions of New Yorkers on a daily basis count on. Fare hikes are inevitable due to inflation along with increasing costs of labor, power, fuel, supplies, materials, routine safety, state of good repair, replacement of worn out rolling stock, upgrades to stations, yards and shops along with system expansion projects necessary to run any transit system.
In the end, quality and frequency of service is dependent upon secure revenue streams. We all will have to contribute—be it at the fare box or tax revenues generated by different levels of government redistributed back to the MTA.