MTA Postpones Planned 2021 Fare Hike “For Several Months” Because “People Are Suffering”


Forward of its month-to-month board assembly, the MTA has determined to postpone elevating fares in 2021 “for a number of months.” MTA Chairman Pat Foye defined the pandemic’s impact on New Yorkers, noting riders are “struggling and can’t shoulder even a modest fare enhance proper now”—and he continues to carry out hope {that a} Biden administration and Democratic-led Home and Senate will kick in one other $8 billion wanted to assist the financially struggling company.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked financial havoc—devastating the MTA’s ridership and revenues and bringing them to ranges far worse than the Nice Melancholy,” Foye stated an announcement launched on Monday night time. “It has additionally hit folks of coloration and low revenue communities hardest, a lot of whom are the exact same important employees which have been on the frontlines of this disaster and who’re additionally most depending on mass transit.”

The MTA had mulled plenty of proposals, together with a fare hike on single rides from $2.75 to $3.00, rising the worth of weekly and month-to-month MetroCards, and both preserving the acquisition of a brand new MetroCard at $1 or enhance the payment to as much as $3.00.

In December, the MTA held eight public hearings and obtained 2,100 public feedback in regards to the doable hike, Foye stated, “What we heard at these hearings was that persons are struggling and can’t shoulder even a modest fare enhance proper now.”

Even earlier than the pandemic, the MTA had been projecting funds shortfalls for years, given a whole bunch of tasks in progress. The MTA board handed a fare hike in 2019 that eradicated financial savings for weekly and month-to-month MetroCards, whereas preserving the $2.75 base in tact.

Then the pandemic hit. Subway ridership plummeted at in March 2020, when New York State went beneath a strict lockdown, and with many companies shifting to distant work or describing their in-person workers or just closed, with subway ridership falling by 90%. Over the summer time, with the MTA dropping roughly $200 million in income every week, Foye stated, “We face essentially the most acute monetary disaster within the historical past of the MTA.”

Now, ridership has been about 70% beneath pre-pandemic ranges (subways are closed between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.), whereas bus ridership has dropped round 54%.

A chart shows MTA Bridge and Tunnel, Metro-North, LIRR, NYC Transit Bus, NYC Subway ridership—Subways, Metro-north and LIRR dropped the most and remain low while B&T traffic has been most resilient. All forms fell in March and April and have been slowly rising.


MTA ridership and visitors between March and December 2020


With the election of President-elect Joe Biden, the MTA had been holding out hope for federal assist. Final month, a federal stimulus package deal gave the company $4.5 billion to steadiness its 2021 funds and keep away from mass layoffs and radical reductions in service.

Foye stated on Monday, “Buoyed by President-elect Biden, incoming Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the MTA additionally has hope for $8 billion in further pandemic reduction and continued federal funding in mass transit in 2021 and past. For these causes, the MTA has determined to postpone the deliberate fare enhance for a number of months. We plan to maneuver ahead with a dialogue and vote on advisable toll modifications in February.”

WCBS-TV studies that the tolls for the MTA’s seven bridges and two tunnels would nonetheless go in impact, as vehicular visitors has solely dropped 16%.

The general public can provide public feedback for the MTA board assembly—registration is from 10 a.m. till 11 a.m. on Tuesday, with recording feedback starting at midday. Thirty minutes of feedback will then be performed at Thursday’s assembly.