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Unlimited Has a Limit - New York City Metrocards Going Up

posted by LIM College

describe the imageDear MTA, don’t you realize that increased fares will put local  travel out of reach for many New Yorkers? I do not only mean that higher fares will hurt the poor. Students at LIM College rely on monthly Metrocards to supply truly unlimited rides to and from school and other in-between trips of their daily lives in New York City. But with the budget proposed by the MTA, students may find themselves walking, using the system less, and reducing revenue to the public transportation authority.

The MTA’s 2011 budget proposal would reduce the “unlimited” monthly metro card to 90 rides per month. The weekly passes will be limited to 21 rides.

Those fare increases will affect others besides LIM students. Citing Metro New York, Bill Henderson of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA said, “Say you’re a parent who takes the subway to drop your kid off at school, and then you get back on the subway to work. Then you do that all over again in the afternoon. That’s four rides a day, and 88 rides in 22 working days a month. That doesn’t leave you a whole lot left.”

According to the New York Daily News, the MTA also proposes increasing the prices for Metrocards. Monthly passes, currently $89, would jump $10 higher and weekly passes would increase $2 in price.

In addition to the price of cards, the fee for purchasing a Metrocard from a teller at a subway station could supplement MTA’s attempt to bring in more money. A $1 surcharge would be intended to encourage riders to reuse cards and have them refilled at a machine, rather than purchasing cards from tellers who won’t be on duty for long hours, if at all at some stations, according to NewYork Daily News.

Although such proposals are meant to increase the revenue of the MTA,  the increase in price and a limit on the number of rides may actually reduce the number of people who choose to ride in the system. That might lower revenues.  If a limit is introduced to the now unlimited Metrocards, students, mothers, employees, and other subway users would be more inclined to walk or use other modes of transportation in order to save their Metrocard rides for a ‘rainy day.’

NY Magazine jokes, “Also, there will be a 50-cent fine for swiping the Metrocard too slowly. Nah, that one won't happen. It doesn't seem that implausible anymore, though.” But, in all honesty, for me the proposal augments the urge to purchase a good pair of walking shoes, in my own effort to save myself from ridiculousness.

--Jena Glick

New York Metro

The New York Daily News

New York magazine

Topics: New York City, student life