NEW YORK (PIX11) — The process to determine the next round of fare and toll increases was set in motion by the MTA board on Wednesday.

Commissioners heard from riders and Gov. Kathy Hochul at the MTA’s monthly board meeting.

“We don’t function as a city or region without the MTA,” Hochul said.

Hochul addressed the state budget, which increased MTA funding. She also said there needs to be fiscal discipline.

“It’s not just about more money. You’re examining operations with a data-driven approach and doing it without cutting service,” Hochul said.

Fare and toll increases are part of the plan. The proposed increases are about 4% for fares and possibly between 6% and 10% for tolls at MTA crossings.

Previously, a planned subway and bus fare hike was delayed due to COVID-19, to encourage ridership.

“We suspended it last year. Now we are still going to keep the base fare under $3 and the weekly pass will go up $1,” said Hochul.

In total, $1.5 billion from three downstate casino licenses will go to MTA funding, but a majority of it is not expected until 2026. State gaming officials have yet to issue the licenses.

MTA planners spent more than an hour on a presentation about the 20-year plan for improvements and investments. Commissioners asked questions and helped outline priorities before the regular meeting began.

“We need to keep up the level or increase the level of investment we are making in the capital,” said MTA Chairman Janno Lieber.

During her remarks, Hochul also said plans for Penn Station were being reevaluated, but she said the big development project in the area will get done. 

Public hearings are scheduled to be held in June about possible fare and toll hikes and their impact. The board will vote later in the summer and discuss the comments from the public. The new prices could take effect by Labor Day.