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The cash-strapped MTA is putting the brakes on controversial plans to raise transit fares, The Post has learned.
Agency board members had been scheduled to vote Thursday on fare and toll increases in line with the agency’s policy since 2009 to enact increases every two years.
Instead, proposed fare hikes of as much as four percent will be tabled for the time-being, according to a source familiar with the agency’s intentions.
Officials are still moving forward with plans to increase bridge and tunnel tolls, the source said. Those toll hikes were scheduled for a vote in February, with implementation set for sometime in the spring.
“As part of our biennial review of fare and toll policy, the MTA conducted the unprecedented level of outreach this year required, holding eight public hearings and receiving 2,100 public comments,” MTA Chairman Pat Foye said in a statement.
“What we heard at these hearings was that people are suffering and cannot shoulder even a modest fare increase right now.”
Transit leaders made a splash in November when they included the elimination of unlimited 7-day and 30-day passes among their biannual fare hike proposals.
Board members at the time strongly opposed the plan, with some arguing the MTA should actually be lowering fares to encourage ridership, which has cratered during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Riders Alliance spokesman Danny Pearlstein said a fare increase in the current moment would have hurt New Yorkers still riding, who he said are overwhelmingly working class.
The perennially-broke MTA is slated to receive billions of dollars from the federal government to shore off its pandemic losses.
“Now is not the time for a fare hike that would have hurt working New Yorkers in the middle of a pandemic,” Pearlstein said.
“The MTA’s gotten several billion dollars of federal aid. It needs several billion more. A fare hike that brings in a few million is small potatoes. These biannual fare hikes no longer make any sense.”
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