As if the threat of up to three inches of snow to celebrate the first day of spring on Friday wasn't enough to crap all over your weekend, get ready to start paying a few bucks more to ride our lovely public transit system thanks to the MTA's new fare increases starting Sunday, March 22nd.
It's going to cost you slightly more to get around with base MetroCard fares going up from $2.50 to $2.75, which is just wonderful. Weekly unlimited fares will increase a dollar from $30 to $31 and monthly unlimited fares will increase from $112 to $116.50, which together are used for about half of all trips, according to the MTA. To help rub it in, the MTA has posted a -- dare we say nice? -- breakdown of the new fare prices, including the fare hikes for Express buses.
And in what could be a tiny showing of mercy, the MTA is offering a one-week grace period for customers with weekly unlimited and monthly unlimited passes, saying all unlimited ride MetroCards purchased prior to the Sunday fare hike must be activated before March 29th to get the full period of unlimited rides.
The increases could be particularly hard for some NYC commuters to swallow, considering how it seems like the subway is actually getting worse with numerous reports in recent months about delays due to weather, problems with the aging signal equipment, broken rails, and severe overcrowding on many train lines. And with a $15 billion budget deficit potentially threatening much-needed renovations and capital projects, will it ever get better?
Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and somehow his monthly pass expires just in time to get a new one before the fare increase. Send news tips to him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.