The Metropolitan Transit Authority, the agency that runs the New York City bus and subway system, is considering a fare hike that would start in the middle of 2023 and push fares to $2.90 per ride and to $3.02 per ride by 2025 in order to close an ever-increasing budget gap.
While the agency hasn’t voted on any plan and any plan pushed forward would require a public hearing period before the board actually votes on it, a fare hike is almost certain as the base fare of $2.75 per ride hasn’t changed since 2015.
According to the MTA, the fare hikes are needed in order to raise revenues that have been lost due to historic low ridership as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As of last week’s work week, daily ridership on subways was averaged just 63.4% of the pre-pandemic daily averages.
With many workers continuing to work remotely, New York City’s subway system is a literal ghost of its former self but in a borough of essential workers, like in The Bronx, many didn’t have the choice and luxury to stay and work from home during the height of the pandemic. In fact, some of the highest ridership on the subway system came from The Bronx during that period and the borough continues to have some of the highest ridership numbers in the city as a result of its high numbers of essential workforce.
And while a hike may seem necessary, as usual, it will come at the cost of the most vulnerable and in New York City, that, unfortunately means residents in The Bronx who have the highest poverty rate not just in the city but in the state.
The MTA must have its funding increased by Governor Kathy Hochul as well as the federal government in order to avoid such an increase.
In a time of rampant inflation, this is the last thing that Bronx residents need to worry about.