WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) fare hikes that were approved in December will go into effect March 1 and include increases between 8.19 percent and 9.13 percent for Metro-North riders.
The systemwide move, which includes New York City buses and subways, was made in order to close a $450 million deficit.
Former MTA Chairperson and CEO Joseph Lhota, who is now a candidate in the New York City mayoral race, said in October that the fare and toll increases were necessary due to rising costs for “debt service, pensions, energy, paratransit and employee and retiree health care,” which the MTA does not control.
Eight public hearings on the fare increases were held in November and December.
A one-way peak ticket from White Plains, Scarsdale, Hartsdale, Hastings, Dobbs Ferry, Ardsley and Irvington to Grand Central Station will go from $10.50 to $11.25, an increase of 7.14 percent. A one-way off-peak ticket will go from $7.75 to $8.50, an increase of 9.68 percent. The new monthly ticket cost, which went into effect Feb. 20, increased 8.73 percent, from $229 to $249.
Riders traveling from Mt. Vernon West, Fleetwood, Bronxville, Tuckahoe, Crestwood, Ludlow, Yonkers, Glenwood and Greystone to Grand Central Station will now pay $10 for a one-way peak ticket, an 8.10 percent increase from $9.25. A one-way off-peak ticket will go from $7 to $7.50, an increase of 7.14 percent. A monthly ticket rises from $204 to $222, an increase of 8.82 percent.
The increase is even steeper for riders who commute from Mt. Kisco, Bedford Hills, Katonah, Cortlandt, Goldens Bridge and Peekskill. A one-way peak ticket from those communities to Grand Central Station will cost $15.50, an 8.77 percent increase from the current $14.25. A one-way off-peak ticket will cost $11.75, a 9.3 percent increase from the current $10.75. A monthly ticket now costs $343, an 8.89 percent increase from $315.
MTA spokesperson Majorie Anders said the fare increase is the third in the last five years and comes as part of a deal with the New York State Legislature in order to receive a funding source.
Most of the MTA’s budget comes from the mortgage recording tax, paid by residents in any of the 12 counties of MTA’s service territory when they buy a house, business or other real estate, Anders said. In 2008, when the real estate bubble burst, that source of funding dried up, she said.
“The MTA went hat in hand, more or less, to the Legislature, looking for an additional source of revenue and some much-needed funding for an essential public service,” she said. “It’s good for the economy of the region. As part of that deal, which brought to you the payroll mobility tax, the MTA agreed to raise fares every other year three times. We’re carrying out our word.”