MTA May Soon Squeeze Yet More Money Out of You

We've been through a lot with the MTA. They took away the V and W trains, along with a bunch of buses; they raised a single fare to the price of more than two slices of 2 Bros Pizza; and now, they might make it so you have to pay an extra dollar every time you lose your MetroCard and have to get a new one. This means that I will end up giving the MTA approximately $5,000 extra per annum.

The MTA is $400 million in the hole this year and has promised not to raise the fare more than 7.5 percent from what it used to be. What's a transit authority to do?

They also might, paradoxically, set limits on heretofore-unlimited MetroCards. Basically, you would only be able to use them a limited number of times, which defeats the purpose of an unlimited MetroCard. Oh, and, obviously, the price would go up.

We are pro-not wasting MetroCards, and pro-trying to hold on to our MetroCards, even though we lose them once every few days (obviously, this tendency will have to be corrected). However, we are anti-Band Aid solutions for big, deep-running problems, and this smacks of that. It's like the new cigarette taxes -- it's a "for now" solution that isn't really solving the fact that things need to be fixed up in a meaningful way. The new financial plan will be presented to the MTA Board at the end of the month, so we'll see what happens.

Either way, this could create a lot of growth in the market for little MetroCard holders. Maybe if we could get some of those revenues flowing to New York state government...

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