NEW YORK (PIX11) – Just in time for Christmas, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board approved their 2013 budget and four-year financial plan Wednesday that will send fares soaring.
Transit officials unanimously approved the fare hikes that will affect all New York City bus, subway and commuter rail riders starting March 1.
Bus and subway rides will increase by 25 cents to $2.75 while a 30-day unlimited-ride MetroCard will now cost $112, up from the current $104. The seven-day unlimited-ride MetroCard will cost $30, up from the current $29.
To add insult to injury, the MTA will also institute a $1 surcharge to purchase a new MetroCard at every city subway station. The charge, officials say, is to encourage straphangers to recycle their cards.
It gets even worse.
The bonus discount awarded to riders when they apply credit to a card will decrease from the current 7% to 5%, or 25 cents for every $5.
Drivers will also get hit in the wallet, where tolls on most MTA crossings will rise to $5.33 for E-ZPass users, up from the current $4.80 and to $7.50 – up from the current $6.50 for customers using cash. These new rates will apply at the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, Queens Midtown Tunnel, Throgs Neck Bridge, Bronx-Whitestone Bridge and Hugh L. Carey Tunnel (formerly the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel).
Greg Mocker, who was at the MTA board vote Wednesday, live tweeted the developments:
Meanwhile, MTA chairman Joe Lhota also announced his resignation at the meeting, fueling rumors that he will be throwing his hat into the 2013 mayor’s race. Yay?