Subway riders face 4 percent hike in fares

NEW YORK — The MTA is pushing forward with plans to increase fares next year.

The agency's chairman Joe Lhota proposed two, 4 percent fare hikes during a board meeting Wednesday, with one taking place in 2019 and the other in 2021.

MTA officials say the hikes are necessary to stave off budget deficits and decreased ridership.

The New York Daily News reports subway and bus ridership dropped by more than 190,000 weekday passengers in May, down to 7.7 million per day, compared to the same time last year.

The agency is expected to see a $376 million decrease in fare revenue between 2019 and 2022.

Lhota said the transit system is experiencing a nationwide trend of fewer riders. He said it's due to a combination of service, for-hire vehicles and fare evasion.