The MTA board made the decision on Wednesday to increase subway and bus fares after nearly a decade without a base price hike. The approved 15-cent increase will take effect on August 20, also affecting Access-a-Ride fares. Since 2015, the single-ride fare has remained at $2.75, while the weekly and monthly unlimited prices were last raised in 2019.
Weekly unlimited fares will now cost $34 instead of $33, and monthly unlimited passes will be $132 instead of $127. The cost of a single-ride ticket will rise from $3 to $3.25, while half-price base fares will go from $1.35 to $1.45.
Express bus fares are also increasing from $6.75 to $7, and weekly express bus passes will be raised from $62 to $64.
These fare increases apply to subway, bus, and paratransit services. Additionally, fares on the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North will also be raised, with an average increase of 5.5%. Unlike subway and bus fares, commuter rail prices are determined by distance.
Moreover, tolls on the MTA’s bridges and tunnels will increase by an average of 6% for E-Z Pass and 10% for tolls sent by mail, starting on August 6. E-Z Pass tolls will go from $6.55 to $6.94, while mailed tolls will rise from $10.17 to $11.19.
These fare and toll increases were mandated in this year’s state budget, which aimed for a 4% rise in the MTA’s fare revenue as part of a financial rescue package for the authority. Janno Lieber, the MTA Chair and CEO, acknowledged the challenges of asking riders to pay more but emphasized the necessity of these measures to avoid financial catastrophe for the authority.
The MTA’s projections now indicate a balanced budget through 2027, reducing the likelihood of service cuts or layoffs, though potential deficits may arise by the end of the decade.
Furthermore, the MTA plans to increase fares by 4% again in 2025, which would bring the cost of a subway or bus ride above $3 for the first time. The agency intends to resume a schedule of fare increases every two years going forward, a plan disrupted by the pandemic.
Alongside the fare increases, some of the MTA’s discount programs are being modified. The CityTicket program for LIRR and Metro-North trips within the city will be expanded, covering peak trips with a $7 ticket in addition to the existing $5 off-peak fare. However, this change will lead to the elimination of the $5 Atlantic Ticket on the LIRR, which includes a free subway transfer.
Moreover, the fare-capping on OMNY after 12 trips per week will be adjusted, providing free trips after a dozen rides in any seven-day period, not limited to Monday through Sunday.