A new Metropolitan Transit Authority proposal that would raise fares by a $1 a ride to close a massive budget gap has some straphangers enraged and others resigned to their fate.
“We don’t like it,” said resident Tanisha Alnon, who was with her two children, daughter Maya and son Natay, at Atlantic Terminal on Aug. 26. “It’s too much money. Everybody gets on [the] train, everyone has to pay – I have my family.”
The proposal comes as transit authorities seek a $12 billion dollar bailout from the federal government, which might not arrive in time to save the current $2.75 fare, they say. At an Aug. 26 meeting, MTA officials indicated that fare hike could likely be accompanied by a 40 percent reduction in overall transit service.
Transit advocate groups have blasted the fare hike proposal, claiming that it will decrease ridership and, subsequently, revenue. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in March, the MTA’s revenue from fares has dropped considerably because of a decrease in ridership.
Many locals in Atlantic Terminal on Wednesday rejected the idea of a fare hike, but understood the MTA had a financial problem maintaining the transit system.
“It’s like everything else, it’s greed, they’re sucking us all dry. During the pandemic, there was a problem, yes, they didn’t get the money and they were giving a free ride,” said Brooklynite Kits Karth, who worried that the subway could soon become unaffordable. “They will keep raising it and raising it, where are we supposed to get the money?”
One traveler hoped that an increased fare could improve subway service.
“It may be worth the extra dollar [for better service],” said Marisa Lozano of the Bronx. “But then, I don’t ride the trains that much. Maybe the extra dollar will do something.”
This story first appeared on AMNY.com.