MTA Fare Hike Goes Into Effect Sunday – Bridge And Tunnel Tolls Increase, Too

MTA Fare Hike Goes Into Effect Sunday – Bridge And Tunnel Tolls Increase, Too
Image via iamtonyang.

Both straphangers and motorists will dole out more at the farebox and toll both when the latest MTA hikes go into effect this Sunday, March 19.

MetroCard fares will increase for the 7-day (from $31 to $32) and 30-day (from $116.50 to $121) Unlimited Ride MetroCards, but one-way base fares will stay at $2.75 with a 5 percent cost-break for each round trip — making the effective fare with the bonus $2.62 per ride.

The fare hike, which the MTA says is the lowest proposed two-year increase since 2009, was approved by the MTA board in January.

Just over half of the MTA’s $15.6 billion annual operating budget comes from fares and tolls, but that could be threatened by the drop in ridership in 2016, the first drop reported in seven years.

See the chart below for the impending fare breakdown:

(Source: MTA)

The 7-Day Unlimited Ride MetroCard, which is heavily used by lower-income and frequent riders, says the MTA board.

Southern Brooklyn: What to expect on the bridges and tunnels

  • The E-ZPass toll at the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which is only paid when crossing from Brooklyn to Staten Island, will increase by 44 cents to $11.52, and the cash toll will increase by $1 to $17.
  • The E-ZPass toll at the Queens-Midtown Tunnel and the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, for instance, will rise by 22 cents to $5.76. See more updated fare information here.
  • In the chart below, the first row of fares represents the current rate, and the second represents the new rate starting March 19.
(Source: MTA)

Ahh, the good ol’ days

The toll to cross the bridge on the bridge’s opening day in 1964 was 50 cents (which would be around $3.84 today).

Also on opening day, rumors were born — now amounting to urban legend — that the Verrazano would be free to cross as soon as the building costs were paid off. In in 1964 dollars, that was $320 million — which would be around $2.45 billion today. Though historians and newspapers have searched, the rumor remains word-of-mouth only.

(Photo by Rachel Silberstein/Bensonhurst Bean)

One Council Member wants you to get involved and get angry

Feeling left out to dry by the newest toll hikes? Get on board with City Council Member Vincent Gentile’s ‘take a hike’ campaign.

Winding down his long career in public office, City Council Member Vincent Gentile is offering Brooklynites using the Verrazano-Narrows bridge a chance to speak out against the latest fare hike, which has cash toll payers doling out up to $17 for a trip across the river.

Gentile released this video yesterday during storm Stella, decrying the “sky high fares” burdening Brooklynites who use the Verrazano just as much as their counterparts on Staten Island, who receive a deep discount. (Staten Island E-ZPass holders will see their fare rise by 24 cents on Sunday — see chart above).

He’s publicly calling on the MTA to extend the bridge discount to Brooklynites who live in neighboring zip codes, urging residents to “bang the drums to get our fair share of a reasonable discount on an unreasonable toll.”

According to MTA data from 2015, of the 180,000 vehicles that span the narrows each day, about 77 percent already receive a discount.

To “drive home the anger,” Gentile is asking drivers to honk your horn while crossing from Brooklyn this Saturday on the bridge to get their message to the MTA — though it remains unclear who will bear the brunt of that noise pollution protest.