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Riders Say: Keep Fares Fair with Discounts and Transfers

“Fare increases are never a popular topic, but they are necessary to keeping our transit system rolling. The proposed 4% increases would have been worse if not for the intervention of the Governor and legislature, who recognize transit for the essential service it is. We’ve seen what happens when neglecting to feed the system turns into a “Summer of Hell” — it’s something no one wants to see again. There are ways to lessen the blow: improving the discount options for riders across the system. Ensuring there is equity across increases so that those who can least afford them have access to more options is critical. That includes raising eligibility to Fair Fares to 200% of the federal poverty level, from the current 100% level. That’s something Mayor Adams can do immediately, and we encourage him to do so.

“We also urge extending the weekly commuter rail option with transfers to subways and buses that currently exists for the Atlantic Ticket to the expanded City Ticket, including the peak offering being proposed. City Ticket should include the freedom to transfer to and from NYC Transit— a key component of Atlantic Ticket’s weekly option— that will help bring us towards a more integrated transit system. Getting rid of Atlantic Ticket— and with it, the only option to transfer between the commuter rails and NYC Transit on one fare— would be a big mistake.

“The proposals that were put forth at the MTA’s Finance Committee today are just that, proposals that will go before the public at fare hearings and then the full board for a vote. Over the course of the coming weeks, there will be much discourse about the merits of the different proposals, including from our Councils. Fares haven’t increased once 2019, but the MTA’s costs certainly have — and expenses that riders incur have as well. Keeping fares as manageable as possible, while still raising funds needed to feed the system, is a delicate balance but the real balance is ensuring that our transit network has the resources it needs to serve the region’s riders, and serve them well.”