MTA pushing back next round of fare hikes by 60 days
Straphangers are getting a slight reprieve from the next MTA fare hike.
The 7.5% fare increase, originally planned to start on Jan. 1, will be pushed back by about 60 days, MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota announced Thursday as he unveiled $29.5 million in added bus, subway and commuter rail service.
While acknowledging that the MTA's budget is "fragile," Lhota said it is in better shape than it has been in recent years, making it possible to postpone the hike.
"We can push the effective date back as far as March 1 before we see any significant negative impact to our financial situation," he said.
Lhota said the higher fare would be necessary even if the agency had not added new service, but said officials decided to delay jacking it up for as long as possible.
"We owe it to out riders to collect when we absolutely need to collect," Lhota said Thursday.
The cash-strapped agency will make about $450 million from the higher fares annually, but officials are sill deciding the new rate structure.