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MTA Chairman Backs Base Fare Hike, Lower Hike for Unlimited MetroCards

MTA's Joseph Lhota believes that this plan will have the least effect on middle class riders.

With an increase in the base fare for subway and bus rides, increases on seven- and 30-day MetroCards won’t be as high as has been proposed and the bonus on pay-per-ride cards will be spared, authority Chairman Joseph Lhota said Monday, according to the New York Daily News.

With the base fare increasing a quarter from $2.25 to $2.50, the seven-day MetroCard would be raised a dollar (to $30) and the 30-day pass would go up by $8 to $112.

This proposal would also keep the MetroCard bonus, which currently adds 70 cents for every $10 put on the pay-per-ride cards.

"The base fare will probably go up, because if it doesn't go up, it will have a huge impact on the people who take the monthly pass and use discounted fares," Lhota said on a radi show, according to the Daily News. "I think we should focus on the middle class. We need to focus on those folks and minimize the increase. The majority of people either take a seven-day pass, a 30-day pass or use the discount pass, and I think we need to focus on how to keep the cost as low as possible for them."

The MTA will hold a public hearing in Queens on Nov. 15 at Flushing's Sheraton LaGuardia.

The board will vote on a final budget and new rates in December and the fare increases will likely take effect in March.

"We agree with Lhota that New York gets less government support than other major cities and look forward to his trying to change that unfairness," Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign told the Daily News. "The fare increase hearings are about three weeks away. It's now the riders’ chance to have their say."

New York City subway and bus riders aren’t the only ones that will feel the burn of fare hikes, though – Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road users will have to fork over 8.2 percent and 9.3 percent more, and at many of the MTA's bridges and tunnels drivers with E-ZPass will pay 50 cents more per toll, while cash payers would pay $1 more.

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