Subway, bus fares set to rise to $2.90 per swipe by Labor Day, MTA says, drawing straphanger wrath

The price of a single MetroCard swipe will go up by a nickel and a dime — to $2.90 — under a new proposal from the MTA.

The rate hike, which applies to subway, bus and paratransit rides, is aimed at boosting revenue for the agency, MTA officials said at a board committee meeting on Monday. It’s set to take effect by Labor Day.

Straphangers still reeling from ups and downs in service since the pandemic voiced their anger to the Daily News.

“How are working people going to do this?” said home attendant Luz Ramirez, 34. “We already give up so much just to live. And then the subway costs more and more and more.”

The agency is set to increase seven-day MetroCards by a dollar, to $34. Monthly passes will go up by $5, to $132.

“We work hard, pay our taxes, and they still have their knee on our neck,” Samuel Andrews, 62, said while waiting for a M100 bus on Amsterdam Ave. in Harlem.

Express bus tickets will go up by a quarter, to $7, with seven-day express passes rising from $62 to $64. LIRR and Metro-North fares will also go up by about 4% across the board.

The hikes are aimed at raising 4% more fare revenue for the MTA following an influx of $65 million in the state budget meant to ward off a bigger fare increase.

An MTA report published last week estimates the agency lost some $690 million last year to fare and toll evaders across the entire MTA network.

A 23-year-old Bronx man admitted he hops the turnstile whenever he can.

“To be honest, I don’t even pay the fee,” said Egzon, who declined to give his last name. “It needs to be cheaper. I don’t like the amount it is right now.

“I pay it every now and then,” he said. “But usually not. I might start paying it once I can’t hop over it, you know? [When] I get too old.”

Starr Riley, 35, called the rate hikes “nonsense.”

“You’ve got mentally ill all folks all up and down the platforms. How can they still raise the fare?” she said as she exited an A train at 145th St

The current rate of $2.75 for a single ride was set in 2015. A 2019 fare hike kept the single-swipe price of $2.75 by eliminating a 5% bonus for putting multiple rides on a MetroCard, and increased Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North fares as well as bridge and tunnel tolls.

Tolls went up again in 2021, but fares on subways, buses and commuter rails didn’t budge.

“We haven’t had increases in a long time,” MTA Finance Committee chair Neal Zuckerman said Monday. “This is a reasonable increase given inflation.

“It is in keeping with what we did for at least a decade, having predictable 4% every two year increases,” he said. “Let us not forget, ladies and gentlemen, our ridership is 30 percentage points lower than pre-pandemic.”

The proposal also involves a 6% to 10% hike in tolls to cross MTA’s bridges and tunnels, either in the form of a 7% across-the-board increase, or a 6% jump in EZPass tolls and a 10% hike in by-mail tolls.

The agency will also consider doing away with the LIRR’s Atlantic Ticket and commuter rail’s discounted 20-trip peak ticket, as well as introducing a $7 peak-hour city ticket for both railroads.

In total, the increases are expected to raise $305 million for the agency.

The MTA’s board is expected to vote on the increase in July after a series of public hearings in June.

At Grand Central Terminal, Zizi Morgan, a 64-year-old tour guide from Fort Greene, Brooklyn, took the rate increase in stride.

“Everything else has gone up in this world, right?” she said. “I don’t think it’s going to make or break anyone in this world.”