By Kevin Lewis
A new MTA budget was released last week, containing no fare hikes, toll increases or service cuts for next year, yet prices will rise in the coming years.
It is an $11 billion budget that can go wrong fairly quickly if the MTA starts slashing and making transactions to protect itself.
The budget is expected to be effective by next month, and it is only expected to trim the approximately 70,000 work force by 279.
“I think overall the MTA remains in a very fragile financial situation. The ongoing economic crisis presents a very stressful challenge to this organization,” new MTA Chairman Jay Walder said.
The MTA also realized a four year fiscal plan, which should involve 7.5 percent fare and toll hikes in 2011 and 2013. More than 200 transit workers protested outside Madison Avenue, as the MTA board discussed its finances.
So for the moment the prices for the MTA stay the same and will take significance hikes in 2011 and 2013. “I couldn’t be happier. I know it is still going to go up in the future, but I’m in a right now state of mind. The prices are already ridiculous, and I’m glad they are staying put,” said Mercy student Brian Bonar.
The MTA prices have taken off over the course of the years, going from $1.50 to a startling $2.25 now.
“Honestly, the prices are ridiculous right now. Six dollars to take a train ride these days? I just hope to have a car by 2011 so I don’t have to deal with another ridiculous increase in price,” said student Gabriel Guerrero. “By the time 2013 comes around, it’s going to cost $15 for a single ride in the MTA. Hopefully, I won’t have to use the MTA too much by that time.
Some are just relieved that the prices aren’t going to immediately affect them this year.
“It’s good that the prices are staying the same now. Having to commute to school via trains and buses, I think the price taking yet another increase would have been absolutely disastrous,” said Mercy student Jilian Acevedo.