Here’s some good news!
The MTA has promised to not increase fares on public transportation until 2022.
The news was announced by board member Larry Schwartz, part of the Finance Committee, who spoke at the weekly board meeting on Monday, July 19. It came after the biannual fare increase had already been delayed — first back in January and now again this summer (to go into effect this November).
“I don’t think at this time and place, raising fares on any New Yorker is appropriate,” he explained. “At a time when we need to encourage increased ridership, raising fares does the opposite…it could possibly even decrease it.”
He said the organization also needed to restructure how they handle fare increases in general, coming up with a more “equitable and fair structure for our riders.” He said in the past they’ve discussed creating peak and off-peak fares, different structures for bus and subway riders, etc., but haven’t followed through with a set plan as of yet. He said with a new NYC mayor coming this fall and an increase in federal funding, the time is ripe to make these changes.
According to other reporters present, Schwartz clarified that there would not be fare hikes in 2021, but there “may be one” in 2022.
MTA ridership took a deep dive during the pandemic, and still hasn’t fully recovered. Mostly recently, ridership records were broken Wednesday, June 16-Friday, June 18 — with combined subway and bus ridership (at more than 3.7 million) close to just 50 percent of pre-pandemic levels.
featured image source: Unsplash / Asael Peña