NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - Commuters in the New York area will soon have to dig deeper into their pockets.
The MTA Board voted in favor of raising fares on subway and bus passes as well as on tolls at its bridges and tunnels.
Under the approved plan, the subway, bus and paratransit base fare will stay at $2.75 but the bonus will be eliminated. The weekly unlimited-ride MetroCard will now cost $33, an increase of 3 percent. The 30-day unlimited-ride MetroCard rises $6 bucks, from $121 to $127, a 5-percent hike.
Tolls at all major MTA-run crossings (except the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge) will increase from $5.76 to $6.12 for motorists with New York E-ZPass tags and from $8.50 to $9.50 for those paying tolls by mail.
The Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge will remain free in the eastbound direction. But the new westbound tolls are $12.24 for motorists with New York E-ZPass tags and $19 for others—unless you're part of the Staten Island resident discount program.
MTA acting chairman Fernando Ferrer said these fare hikes plus internal cost-cutting are aggressive efforts to help fill a budget deficit without cutting service—but it won't be enough.
"We've seen dramatically improved performance of our system recently," Ferrer said, "and in order to keep that up we are making major internal reforms, seeking additional recurring revenues from our state and city partners, and urging the legislature to pass the governor's congestion pricing proposal."
This week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled a 10-point plan to overhaul the MTA including implementing congestion tolls for vehicles entering a large part of Manhattan.
The new tolls go into effect March 31 and the new fares begin April 21.