New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority has announced a general across-the-board fare increase, effective March 22, on New York City Transit, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North, and MTA-operated bridges and tunnels.  The average increase is 4%, less than the 7.5% previously envisioned; the MTA attributed the lower hikes to a better financial situation.  However, some fares will increase as much as 10%.  The "base fare" on NYC Transit, which not many users actually pay, will increase 10% to $2.75, but a single cash fare will actually increase from $2.75 to $3.00.  Most riders, however, use multiple-ride or unlimited use Metrocards.  For multiple-ride cards, the "bonus" for adding at least $5.50 in value will increase from 5% to 11%; the MTA says that the effective fare with the bonus is actually $2.38. Monthly Metrocards would rise by $4.50 to $116.50; weekly cards would go up a buck to $31. Express bus cash fares would rise by 50 cents to $6.50; the new Access a Ride paratransit fare would match the base fare at $2.75.

MTA commuter rail fares would also rise by an average of 4%, although individual fares will rise more or less, in order to keep the fares at an even 25 cents. If the increase works out to over 6%, it would be capped at 50 cents.

The MTA's announcement did not mention any increase in the Senior/Disabled Metrocard fare, which may remain at $1.25, which would be half the "base fare" rounded down to the nearest 25 cents. There will be no change in the one dollar fee for issuing new Metrocards.

Fares on bridges and tunnels are more complicated, because drivers can pay cash, or use the E-Z Pass electronic tag system.  Here the MTA draws a distinction between E-Z Pass tags issued by the New York Customer Service Center, and those issued elsewhere, for example in New Jersey. Apparently, only New York E-Z Pass holders benefit from a discount, which can be substantial.  The round-trip cash fare on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, for example, will go to a whopping $16.00, which apparently applies as well to non-New York E-Z Pass customers. Those who hold New York tags, however, pay only $11.08, except for Staten Island residents, who enjoy a price of just $6.60, which decreases even further if used more than twice a month.  Similar discounts apply to other MTA bridges and tunnels, again apparently only for New York E-Z Pass travelers. The MTA says the purpose of the increasingly divergent pricing is to encourage the use of E-Z Pass, but again, apparently only for its own favored customers.

A New York Times article on the fare increases can be read here.

The MTA's own announcement is here.