Latest MTA fare hikes take effect

Commuters in New York City are experiencing the first workday for MTA fare hikes, Monday.

Commuters in New York City are experiencing the first workday for MTA fare hikes, Monday. (3/20/17)

BROOKLYN - The latest Metropolitan Transportation Authority fare hikes took effect this week, officially starting Sunday before beginning to impact commuters a day later.

The MTA says the hikes are the lowest since 2009, but some commuters say the increases feel like a rip-off because they haven't seen noticeable improvements to the subway system.

"Every time these fare hikes happen, nothing improves," commuter Tamara Bedward says.

Base fares remained the same, but the refill bonus that used to be 11 percent is just 5 percent -- once you pay $5.50 or more. The seven-day MetroCard increased by $1, while the 30-day MetroCard went up to $121 from $116.50. Some frequent riders tell News 12 they would have preferred if the bonuses remained the same and the base fare had gone up.

Community advocates held a protest in Brooklyn Sunday to demand that the mayor's office pick up half of the cost of a MetroCard for low-income New Yorkers.

MTA president Thomas Prendergast says the structure of the hikes was designed to help low-income commuters: The unchanged base fare does not impact people who pay for one ride at a time.

One-way tickets remain the same at $2.75 for both subways and local buses. The express bus fare remains at $6.50. As for bridge and tunnel tolls, prices have gone up 4 percent or less for EZPass users, and even more for people who pay cash to encourage them to buy passes.

Fares are expected to rise again in two years.

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