Riding subways and buses will soon cost more, as the MTA is increasing the fare to $2.90 beginning on Sunday.
The move marks the first price hike in eight years, when swiping through turnstiles and boarding city buses was raised to $2.75.
Approved by the MTA board in July, the new fares come as straphangers are beginning to return to public transit at record post-pandemic rates — though, the numbers still hover around 70% of 2019 levels.
While the agency was hesitant to increase fares during the worst of the pandemic—fearing that such a move would dissuade potential customers—the cash-strapped MTA finally gave in and instituted the new cost structure.
The new $2.90 number also applies to Access-a-Ride, which helps transport people with disabilities.
Meanwhile, the weekly unlimited fares will go up from $33 to $34, while monthly unlimited passes will be $132.
The OMNY system, which allows riders to pay by tapping their bank card or cell phone, will still boast a benefit for frequent travelers — as rides will be free after 12 trips in any given seven-day period.
Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North customers will be affected too, as the cost for tickets on those trains will rise by 4.5%, according to the MTA.
The hike, while undoubtedly painful for riders, is actually less than initial estimates.
Last year, the MTA projected it would face a $3 billion budget deficit by 2025 — which would have meant service cuts, along with a potential $3.50 fare for subways and buses.
Gov. Kathy Hochul, along with state legislators, stepped in with financial help, however, and the MTA now projects a balanced budget through 2027.
Janno Lieber, the head of the MTA, said following the vote to increase the fares earlier this year that the change was necessary to maintain service without disruption.
“It’s not without its downsides, because anytime you’re asking people to pay a little more, you know that has consequences,” Lieber said. “But for everybody who depends on this transit system — like I always say, mass transit is like air and water for New Yorkers — we need it.”