By Kurana Doobay
Starting August 20, MTA fare increases went into effect across NYC subways, buses and commuter railroads, the first since before the covid pandemic, but one that adds 4% to the usual fare. And student commuters and those who otherwise need to get to and from the city aren’t happy about it.
According to MTA.info, the MTA’s official website, the fare changes for New York City Transit are as follows:
The base fare for subway, local buses and Paratransit increased from $2.75 to $2.90.
The 7-Day Unlimited Ride pass increased from $33 to $34, and the 30-Day Unlimited Ride pass went from $127 to $132.
The fare for students, seniors and Paratransit customers increased from $1.35 to $1.45.
The Express Bus base fare went from $62 to $64.
The LIRR and Metro-North monthly and weekly tickets increased by up to 4.5% across both railroads. The discount for traveling off-peak was standardized to 26% across both railroads. (Until now, Metro-North’s discount was 25% and LIRR’s 27.5%.) This led to slightly higher increases of 6-7% on LIRR off-peak tickets and slightly lower increases of 2-3% on Metro-North off-peak tickets
Adelphi students are either resigned to the increased fares or are so outraged one suggested, “I’ll just be jumping the turnstile.”
Geetika Sewani, a senior biology major and commuter student, lives in the Long Island area. Although she drives to Adelphi, she utilizes public transport to get into the city where she takes trips with her family. Of the fare increase she said, “It’s unfair to the majority of the public.”
Ryan Hughes, a senior political science and economics double major, was not at all surprised about the price increases. “Truthfully, I’m surprised it took them this long to raise it. But where does the money go? I take the N and W, and those trains are older versions, not to mention the unbearably hot stations in Manhattan all throughout the summer. I’m not particularly bothered by the increase, I just hope to see how the money makes improvements.”
Jenna Masci, a senior criminal justice major with a Spanish minor, is a Connecticut native who utilizes the MTA to explore New York City while in the area for school – similar to most out-of-state students.
“I think the fare increases will negatively affect the community as a whole and will decrease people’s ability and likelihood to travel throughout the city. I think the price increases will also cause a decline in revenue for small businesses,” Masci said. “It will surely have a larger impact on the lower/working class, as they are the ones who will be hurt the most by the increased prices.”
Finn Wirbel, a senior English major who recently transferred, had a strong response. “I think that it’s the city taking blatant advantage of the reliance that we have on accessible public transport. Especially since I have seen so many people hop [jump the turnstile], anyway. There’s so much funding the city puts into other things that could be used to literally make the public transport fees completely free.”
Wirbel is an Ohio native who utilizes NYC public transit as he doesn’t bring a car to school in New York. Therefore, public transportation is especially important to him. To those in charge of the price hikes, he demanded, “Stop spending money on anti-homeless architecture if you people need that much money. It is simply blatant disrespect of NYC citizens.”
Felice Hagerman, a senior majoring in biology, said, “I live in Pennsylvania, and I’m just glad we don’t have to deal with that there. One thing I am so grateful for is that I am able to bring my car on campus.”
With these price hikes, maybe, we should take Hagerman’s lead and all pack up, move out to Philly and invest in a car. Although with that, we’ll have to struggle with gas prices – so maybe we just can’t win.
For more information on fare changes, you can visit the MTA’s official website, mta.info.