For those traveling by public transportation in New York, fees will be a little more from now on. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) fare hike that was passed in January takes effect across the city on Sunday.
This is the eighth time in a decade that fees for subway and bus went up, with a single ride rising to 2.75 U.S. dollars from the previous 2.50 U.S. dollars. For unlimited cards, a seven-day pass is up one U.S. dollar to 31 dollars, while the monthly card sees a 4.5-dollar rise, to 116.50 dollars. Besides, tolls on MTA bridges and tunnels also go up in the city.
When asked how to use the increased income, MTA chief Tom Prendergast said earlier this year that what riders get for it is "an increase in service, higher quality of service -- more, more."
Some New Yorkers agree that the fee hike is a good way to help improve subway facilities. Ms. Barrett, who lives in Woodside, told Xinhua, "I think it's a good idea, 25 cents isn't that much more. As everybody knows, subway needs a lot of help, they need renovation and restoration. Many of the stations are very dirty. And I think the increased fare will help finance the improvement in the subway stations."
The fare hike arrives in a delicate time when commuters are dealing with frequent delays, overcrowding and signal problems lately. Keyla Delossantos, who lives in Queens and takes the No. 7 line almost every day, has to endure weekend suspensions as the line bound for Manhattan is cut nearly every other weekend due to the MTA's infrastructure upgrading.
"The train has been hacked, especially the 7 Line. There's no train to Manhattan over the weekend. People don't have other ways to go, taking a bus, staying outside, that's too much," said Keyla. The fare increase also added financial burden to her. "I buy unlimited every week, the 31 dollars every month adds up. It is going to take a little toll on us," she said.
With rising operation expenses, the MTA already cut 1 billion U. S. dollars out of its annual expenses last year, according to MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz. "The MTA has been able to hold fare and toll increases down to the equivalent of 2 percent a year, with the lowest increases for our most frequent customers," he added.