Straphangers slow to catch on to coming $2.25 fares
Ready or not, here it comes.
With the $2 subway fare just days away from expiring, straphangers are having a hard time adjusting - if they know about the fare hike at all.
Only a handful of riders surveyed Sunday could say when the new fares were coming or what they will be. They were news to Richard Tillman, 61, of the South Bronx.
Get out of here. Nobody's going to pay that, said Tillman of the increase, which will take the base fare to $2.25 and monthly Metrocards from $81 to $89. It just went up.
Indeed, its the second hike in two years, and it has some straphangers considering commuting alternatives.
Now I know what I'm going to do next week. I'm going to pull out the car, said Angela Pacheco, 57, of Brooklyn.
Workers are making their final checks to MetroCard computers to gear up for the switch, NYC Transit spokesman Paul Fleuranges said.The MTA voted to increase fares to $2.50 in March, but softened the blow after state lawmakers came through with $2.3 billion in additional funding last month. The tug-of-war over the bailout played out for weeks in Albany, leaving many riders confused about the end result.
I think they definitely should have communicated [the new fares] a lot earlier, said Edlin Cruz, 24, of Harlem.
The agency defended its outreach. White signs detailing the fares in several languages started going up in subway stations last week. Transit will finish posting the notices in subways and buses shortly, Fleuranges said.
Few riders stopped to look at the signs posted in station entrances and passageways Sunday. The signs typically were not located on platforms.
They should post it on the pillars. It should be on the news - Channel 1, 5, 9, everything, said Jaynea Braggs, 22, of Harlem.
A screen saver reminding riders about the change is being added to all MetroCard machines, Fleuranges said. Next weekend, fare decals on buses and subways will include the new prices, he said.
Anastasia Economides and Marlene Naanes contributed to this story
Straphangers who purchase Pay-Per-Ride cards will get a 15 percent bonus when they buy at least $8
- Single bonus fare comes with a $15 purchase
- Put $45 on a card to get 23 fares to avoid leftover balances