Another fare and toll hike is not a possibility, for now

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NEW YORK (AP) —The base MTA subway fare would jump to $3.15. The monthly unlimited card would cost another $17.

But the key word is "would" (you could also say "could" or "might").

Some transit officials, during a meeting of the April MTA Finance Committee, predicted New Yorkers could face a 15 percent fare and toll hike if the state legislature doesn't help fund the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's $15 billion gap in the Capital Program.

There is work that must be done.

The $32 billion five-year capital budget plan will fund critical improvements and repairs to the city's subways, buses and trains. It is separate from the year-by-year operational budget which is about $13 billion.

The MTA, which is a state-run authority, has only identified funding sources for half of that budget. The state budget has been agreed upon but leaders in Albany say they continue to discuss the MTA Capital Plan.

At the finance meeting, MTA board member Jeffrey Kay called the budget hole "a freight train coming at us."

MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast, who was not at the finance committee meeting, issued a statement.

"Yesterday's mention of a potential 15% fare and toll increase was a hypothetical answer to a hypothetical question," he said. "No one has proposed we pay for our capital needs on the backs of our riders, and no one is considering it."

The federal government and city of New York are considered stakeholders in the process.

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