The Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York (MTA) has announced that it’s considering massive prices hikes. Prices much higher than previously suggested. With the current proposal, prices for an unlimited monthly metro card would raise from $89 to $130! That’s an increase of 46% with almost no warning at all. Not cool.
When looking at the history of New York City subway price increases, this latest proposed cost increase is almost farcical. New York public transportation prices are already one of the highest in the country, if not around the world. Raising fares by 46% overnight would not only be an abuse of power and just plain wrong.
I will admit that New York does have some of the best public transportation in the world (despite recent route revisions and cuts). This is one of the few cities where most people find that owning a car is a larger hassle than not owning a car. Between subways, buses, and taxis, one can easily travel anywhere in the five boroughs of New York City at any time. Despite this, many commuters constantly feel used and abused by the MTA. Whether these feelings are justified or not does not matter. Riders feel this way, therefore it is up to the organization to act accordingly, either by addressing common complaints directly or improving communication in regards to behind the scenes changes currently underway.
It is amazing to me that a fare hike this substantial can be legal. It is not my fault that the MTA was unable to balance their budget and are now deeply in debt. I am a good commuter. I purchase my metrocard through the machines and not from any random scalpers. I don’t sell people swipes from my unlimited card. In fact, I would be perfectly content to pay more money for my metrocard if there were marked improvements being made to the trains and subway stations. But that’s simply not the case. If you want me to support a substantial price increase, let’s see just a few basic improvements:
- Fix all the subway cars with broken air conditioning (this summer was ridiculous)
- Fix the subway stations that are falling apart to the point of ruin
- Address the issue of entire trains being unusable due to one extremely rank individual
These are not luxury requests, but simple quality of life issues. I’m sure there are tons of improvements being made to the subway system behind the scenes, but the average commuter has no idea about the details of these changes. Psychologically, it’s extremely dumb to raise prices, especially so drastically, without giving the public any tangible improvements. Instead, we see the MTA cutting service and trains, stations still falling apart, and subway cars with almost unbearable conditions. And then raising prices to relatively astronomical levels.
Maybe it’s a matter of needing the money to fix the issues but not being able to get the money until the issues are fixed. But these problems have been prevalent through all the previous fair hikes, so excuse me if I don’t think charging $130 for a monthly metro card is going to do anything at all.