More for Less

The price of a single subway ride will increase to $2.50 from $2.25 at the start of next year, according to transit officials. That’s just one piece of a not-yet-released 7.5 percent “revenue yield” scheme that will also raise the cost of bridge and tunnel tolls, monthly MetroCards and commuter rail tickets.

The proposed 2013 fare hike, which will be the fourth in five years, comes on the heels of the worst service cuts in a generation. In 2009, Albany forced the MTA to axe two subway lines, 32 bus routes and 570 bus stops.

Put another way, New York’s elected officials have decided that transit riders should pay more for less. Does that seem right to you?

It would be one thing if the cost of a ride were increasing in relation to the cost of operating the transit system: Everyone understands that things get more expensive; that gas is at an all time high; that labor and pension costs are increasing; and that paying off debts from years of borrowing is tough, but that’s not what’s happening with this fare hike.

No, this time, elected officials in Albany­—including Governor Cuomo, State Senators and State Assembly Members—have decided that they’re not willing to pay for the increased cost of operating the transit system. In fact, they haven’t been for quite some time. For more than a decade, the amount of New York State money directed to the MTA has barely kept pace with inflation—despite higher operating costs and capital demands­—while fare hikes in the past few years have outpaced it threefold.

  That’s right, not only are Governor Cuomo and his pals asking you to pay more for less, they’re refusing to pick up their fair share.

Transportation Alternatives is fed-up, and so are millions of New Yorkers. At a series of Town Hall meetings happening from Staten Island to Soundview, advocates, community groups and even a few strong-willed elected officials have been speaking out and setting the record straight. They’ve been telling their neighbors that it doesn’t have to be this way; that the MTA is not the problem; and that the path to change runs right through Albany, down the halls of the Capitol, and across the governor’s desk.

It’s going to be a long hard fight, but it’s one we’ve got to win. The future of New York City depends on it. More for less is no way to pay.