MTA prepares to present fare and toll increase proposals

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Now that the election is over, it's time to move to one of the next big issues: MTA finances.

A fare and toll increase has always been in the books. For the past four years, officials have incorporated increases every other year.

The MTA announced earlier this year that the 2015 increase was going to be 4%.

Within the next 2 weeks, the MTA will announce hearings to lay out the different plans. During the most recent process, four different fare structures were presented, increasing some types of cards and fares/tolls more than others.

They will be held around the service area.

The board will approve the plans at the December meeting.

Officials are emphasizing investment, repair and safety measures.

"MTA plans to invest $20 million per year in new subway, bus and commuter railroad service, as well as an additional $125 million over the four-year plan period for new operational and maintenance needs," said an MTA news release. "The budget also makes major investments in customer, employee and public safety which total $363 million over the four-year plan period."

The MTA says increased labor costs are being paid for through other funding accounts. The agencies say they are also looking for cost savings.

The fare and toll increase is expected to raise moer than $400 million.