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Testimony to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Proposed Fare Increases

Good evening, I’m Jessica Spezio, speaking on behalf of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA, PCAC.  

Who wants to pay more but riders are the ones to suffer when transit doesn’t get the money it needs. Dick Ravitch taught us that, and we were honored to have had him speak at a PCAC meeting, where he talked about the importance of funding the system. Thanks to Governor Hochul and the state legislature, we’ll see a lower fare hike and subway service increases.  

Express bus reliability remains a problem for riders, with ongoing cancellations during rush hours. We hope this can be addressed with additional fare revenue. 

Overall, more creative and flexible fare offerings will encourage ridership.  

  • We appreciate that CityTicket is being expanded to include peak travel and support rolling Atlantic Ticket into it, but urge you to keep the weekly ticket option that allows transfers to and from subways and buses, and adding it to eTix so more people can take advantage of it.  
  • 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 support capping the cost of monthly ticket fares for commuters living the farthest from New York City at $500.  
  • A 4.5% increase on weekly and monthly tickets would still come out 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 of $0.50 per trip.  
  • We support the MTA’s efforts to find savings from efficiencies and in fighting payment evasion. 

Safe, frequent, affordable and reliable service is important to attracting people to transit. Improvements funded with congestion pricing money will make for a smoother ride. 

Thank you for your consideration.