On Wednesday the MTA released its four-year financial plan… and that can mean only one thing. That’s right, you guessed it, another fare hike!
But before we join the other townsfolk, with their torches and pitchforks, marching on the MTA offices, let’s look a little closer. The financial plan is focused on minimizing fare increases, but at the same time dramatically modernizing the subway’s services. The changes proposed in the plan include:
- “Contactless” fare payment in 2018
- Meeting increased use of Customer Service Center operations
- Increased safety precautions
- upgrading railroad crossings
- adding on-board vehicle cameras
- “Help Point” intercoms
- Renovation of 31 subway stations
- Wi-Fi in 31 subway stations
- Restoration of year-round weekend North Folk service on the Long Island Rail Road and summer Fire Island connections
- Four new Select Bus Service routes in Queens
- 200 buses and 200 subway cars to feature the upgrades (Wi-Fi, USB charging ports and digital screens) this year and an additional 400 subway cars will be equipped in 2017.
What does “minimizing fare increases” mean to the MTA exactly? They expect to limit the 2017 and 2019 fare and toll increases to no more than 4%, which should generate an additional $308 million in annual operating revenue.
A 4% increase doesn’t sound too bad for all those extra services and improvements, but only time will tell if these numbers are actually adopted, and lets not forget how expensive the subway has already become!
Featured image source: [angelrtalk]