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…
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 9, 2010