MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota has suggested the transit agency is likely to raise the basic subway and bus fare of $2.25 by a quarter to $2.50, effective in March 2013.
Lhota was interviewed Monday on radio station WOR’s John Gambling program.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority chairman said he thought it was important to “focus on the middle class” of straphangers.
“The base fare will probably go up,” Lhota said. “Because if it doesn’t go up, it will have a huge impact on the people who take the monthly pass and use discounted fares.”
Some 85 percent of subway rides are paid for with limited ride or discounted MetroCards as a result of the 7 percent bonus provided for pay-per-ride cards costing more than $10.
Critics of Lhota’s suggestion said it might be difficult for the lowest income transit riders. MTA statistics indicate that nearly 40 percent of straphangers with income under $25,000 ride using non-discounted fares.
Exhaustive discussions and questions expected about the raise in fares and tolls are scheduled to take place next month and a final vote by the MTA on four separate fear proposals is scheduled for late December.
Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at timesledge
©2012 Community News Group
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