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Testimony to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Proposed Fare Increases

Good evening, I’m Lisa Daglian, Executive Director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA, PCAC.

No one likes to pay more – but thanks to Governor Hochul and the state legislature recognizing transit for the essential service it is, we’re talking about a lower, four-percent increase. We’ll also see service increases on subway lines where there has been off peak growth. Because of their bold action, the MTA is looking at steady seas and prevailing winds for the coming years, instead of the fiscal tsunami that threatened riders and the entire region.

Supporting the system with smaller planned increases is critical to keeping it sound financially – and running reliable service to show for it. Safe, frequent, affordable and reliable service is important to attracting people to transit, critical to our ongoing recovery. Improvements funded with congestion pricing money will make for a smoother ride.

More creative and flexible fare offerings will further encourage ridership. To that end:

  • We appreciate CityTicket expansion to include peak travel and support rolling Atlantic Ticket into it, but urge you to keep the option of buying a weekly ticket that allows transfers to and from subways and buses, and adding it to eTix so more people can take advantage of the program.
  • We support changing the OMNY weekly fare capping to a rolling seven-day period, along with the introduction of monthly fare capping.
  • We support raising eligibility to Fair Fares to 200% of the federal poverty level and expanding it to commuter rail within New York City, with increased city funding. We also support increasing outreach and lowering barriers to applying to encourage more people to enroll. Fair Fares can be fairer.
  • We support capping the cost of monthly ticket fares for commuters living the farthest from New York City at $500. 
  • We support the 4.5% increase on weekly and monthly tickets that would still be at a lower cost than pre-pandemic because of the 10% discount implemented last year.  
  • We support capping any ticket increase greater than 6% at a maximum increase of $0.50 per trip. 
  • We support the MTA’s efforts to find savings from efficiencies and in fighting payment evasion.

Thank you for your consideration.