EASTER SUNDAY FARE HIKE

Easter Sunday arrives along with a fare increase for riders of our city’s subways and buses. We have the details.

Aired on April 18, 2019.

TRANSCRIPT

> GOOD EVENING.

WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

BIG CHANGES ARE COMING FOR THE MILLIONS OF NEW YORKERS WHO DEPEND ON THE CITY TRANSIT SYSTEM.

TO BEGIN WITH, RIDING THE SUBWAY BUS OR TRAIN IS ABOUT TO GET MORE EXPENSIVE AND THAT'S BECAUSE THE LATEST ROUND OF MTA FARE HIKES WILL KICK IN THIS WEEKEND.

FOR L TRAIN RIDERS, THAT MEANS THEY'RE ABOUT TO GET LESS FOR MORE SINCE NEXT WEEK MARKS THE OFFICIAL START OF THE MUCH ANTICIPATED PARTIAL L TRAIN SHUTDOWN.

AND PERHAPS THE BIGGEST CHANGE OF ALL, METRO CARS WILL SOON BE A THING OF THE PAST AS THE CITY BEGINS ROLLING OUT A NEW PAYMENT SYSTEM THAT WILL EVENTUALLY PLACE THE YELLOW CARS THAT HAVE BEEN IN USE FOR MORE THAN 25 YEARS.

JOINING US TO SORT IT ALL OUT, THE A.M. NEW YORK REPORTER.

LET'S GET TO IT.

WHAT ARE THE FARE HIKES AND WHO WILL IT HIT THE WORST?

RIGHT.

SO THIS IS PART OF THE BIENNIAL FARE HIKES THEY'VE BEEN DOING FOR A DECADE.

THE MONTHLY CARD WILL GO UP FROM $121 TO $127.

THE WEEKLY CARD WILL GO UP TO $33.

THE BASE FARE, $2.75, WILL STAY THE SAME ALBEIT WITHOUT THE PURCHASING BONUS.

THAT'S A BIG BONUS.

IF YOU'RE PAYING FOR A SWIPE, THAT WILL HIT YOU HARD.

WE REMEMBER THE EXPOSE THAT 'THE NEW YORK TIMES' DID A COUPLE YEARS AGO ABOUT THE SUBWAY SYSTEM.

AND I THINK IT MADE IT PRETTY CLEAR THAT THE PROBLEM WASN'T SO MUCH THE REVENUES AS THERE ARE PROBLEMS WITH THE REVENUES, AS THE EXPENDITURES.

PARTICULARLY IN LABOR AND MANAGEMENT.

AS THESE FARE HIKES COME TO BE, I THINK, ON EASTER SUNDAY.

DID ANYBODY DEAL WITH THE EXPENDITURES?

RIGHT.

THAT'S A BIG PROBLEM WITH THE MTA, THE MANAGEMENT WITH.

THESE HIKES, THEY'RE SORT OF PROMISING THAT THEY'LL GET THEIR ACTING TOGETHER.

THEY HAVE A HIRING FREEZE GOING ON.

THEY'RE TRYING TO CUT $500 MILLION FROM THE VARIOUS AGENCIES.

THEY'RE FACING SIGNIFICANT BUDGET CUTS.

EVEN WITH THESE HIKES GOING INTO EFFECT IN THE OFF YEARS.

THEY'RE SAYING IT IS JUST TO KEEP IT GOING.

IT BASICALLY STAVES OFF SERIOUS CUTS.

THEY'RE STILL REALLY STRUGGLING.

THIS IS A HUGE CHALLENGE FOR THE MTA.

EVEN WITH THE INFLUX OF CASH FROM CONGESTION PRICING AND ALL THAT, THAT DOESN'T ADDRESS THE OPERATING SIDE OF THINGS.

LET'S TALK ABOUT THE L TRAIN REPAIRS.

THEY'RE BEGINNING FOR REAL IN A WEEK.

YOU'VE WRITTEN ABOUT THE ANXIETY PEOPLE ARE FEELING ABOUT THAT.

TALK ABOUT IT.

A BIT OF A DOUBLE WHAMMY.

WE'RE NOT HAVING A FULL L TRAIN.

IT SHUT DOWN.

WE'RE DOING A PARTIAL SHUTDOWN ON NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS SO TRAINS WILL BE RUNNING EVERY 20 MINUTES OVERNIGHT, STARTING, RAMPING DOWN AT 8:00 P.M. AND ALL THROUGH THE WEEKEND.

THAT CAN BE A SIGNIFICANT SERVICE DECLINE FOR THE WEEKEND, ESPECIALLY WHEN THROUGH UNION SQUARE, FOR INSTANCE, WE HAVE TRAINS RUNNING EVERY FOUR OR SIX MINUTES DURING THE WEEKEND.

SO WHEN THE L TRAIN WAS SUPPOSED TO BE CLOSED DOWN COMPLETELY FOR 15 MONTHS, THERE WERE THESE MITIGATING PLANS THAT WERE IN THE WORKS LIKE DEDICATED LANE ON 14th STREET FOR BUSES ONLY.

MORE TRAINS FOR OTHER LINES THAT L TRAIN USERS MIGHT USE.

ARE THEY STILL IN PLACE?

SOME OF THEM ARE.

SO THE SUBWAY, THE SUBWAY ENHANCEMENTS ARE STILL IN PLACE.

YOU WILL SEE IT BOOSTED.

THE BUS SERVICE IS STILL A LITTLE BIT OF A QUESTION MARSHALL.

THE MTA WILL IMPROVE THE BUS SERVICE ON 14 STREET.

THE BUS SERVICE IS IN LIMBO.

IT WAS QUIETLY MOTH BALLED.

IT WASN'T REALLY NECESSARY.

ALTHOUGH THE ADVOCATES KIND OF DISAGREE.

THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE TO MOVE OVERNIGHT.

THE PROBLEM WITH THE L TRAIN, OR MAYBE A GOOD THING ABOUT THE L TRAIN, IT SERVES PEOPLE ALL THROUGHOUT THE DAY.

PEOPLE ARE TAKING IT THROUGH THE DAY.

OVERNIGHT.

SO THERE IS REALLY A CHALLENGE 24/7.

WE HAVE ABOUT A MINUTE LEFT.

TALK ABOUT THE NEW PAYMENT SYSTEM IN THE WORKS.

WHEN WILL IT START?

WHEN WILL WE SAY GOODBYE FOREVER TO THE YELLOW CARD?

RIGHT.

SO THE METRO CARD WILL BE AROUND UNTIL 2023.

SO YOU'LL BE ABLE TO PAY WITH THAT.

THE NEW FARE PAYMENT SYSTEM WHICH USES THE CONTACT LISTS, BANK CARDS, EVENTUALLY IT WILL USE A MOBILE APP.

THAT WILL START WITH A VERY SMALL PILOT ON THE LEXINGTON AVENUE LINE AT THE END OF NEXT MONTH.

ABOUT 16 STATIONS FROM BARCLAY CENTER.

THEY'LL BE ABLE TO USE, THOSE RIDERS WILL BE ABLE TO USE A BANK CARD TO TAP IN.

INSTEAD OF HAVING TO WAIT IN LINE.

ULTIMATELY, IT WILL OPEN THE DOOR FOR NEW FARE PAYMENT POLICIES LIKE FARE CAPPING WHERE THEY DECIDED TO BUY A MONTHLY OR DAILY OR WEEKLY METRO CARD.

THE MTA CAN SIMPLY TAP THE FARES IF THEY WERE IN CERTAIN TIMES IN THE MONTH.

ALL RIGHT.

THANK YOU.

WE'LL SEE HOW THIS ALL WORKS OUT.

NO PROBLEM.

THANK YOU.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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