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MetroCard rising to $3 per swipe, source says

The MTA will raise the MetroCard price to

The MTA will raise the MetroCard price to $3 per swipe in March, a source said. Photo Credit: iStock

MetroCard rates will likely rise to $3 per swipe in March.

The MTA will recommend the hike at a board meeting on Jan. 25, according to a source familiar with the proposal.

Along with the 25-cent increase in base fares, the MTA would also increase the purchasing bonus that riders receive when they add at least $6 to their cards — from 11 percent to 16 percent.

Three-dollar fares are one of two options the agency has been weighing. The other option would have kept fares at $2.75, but riders would have only received an extra 5 percent bonus with a $5.50 purchase.

Under either option, though, monthly MetroCards will jump from $116.50 to $121. Seven-day cards will increase by a dollar, to $32.

Board members will vote on the proposal after it’s presented on Wednesday. Beth DeFalco, an MTA spokeswoman, cautioned that nothing is final.

“We are not commenting on a proposal that is not yet even finalized,” DeFalco said in an email.

Once the board approves the proposal, the raised rates will take effect on March 19.

The presentation on Wednesday will be the culmination of internal discussion as well as eight public hearings held across the region. Advocates and straphangers at many of those hearings expressed the financial hardship another hike — the sixth since 2008 — would bring.

Two nonprofits, the Community Service Society (CSS) and Riders Alliance, have been pushing Mayor Bill de Blasio to include funding in the next city budget to institute half-fare MetroCards for New York City residents living at or below the poverty level. It would be similar to discounts that already exist for senior citizens and students and would require about $200 million in annual funding, they estimate.

A mayoral spokeswoman said the proposal is something the administration will consider throughout the the 2018 fiscal budget process. But, echoing the mayor’s recent comments on the issue, she added that the annual cost would be an expensive burden for the city and suggested that the governor, who controls the MTA, chip in for a program.

David Jones, president and CEO of the CSS and an MTA board member, declined to discuss internal MTA matters. But he raised broad concerns about another hike in any form.

“Irrespective of the option the MTA board chooses, a fare hike of any kind will hurt the city’s working poor who are already struggling to afford the current fare,” said Jones in a statement. “That’s why we have been urging the mayor to fund a reduced fare for New Yorkers living at the poverty level in his executive budget.”

Plan details

- Base MetroCard fare: $3

Bonus: 16 percent with $6 purchase

(Effective fare with bonus: $2.59)

- Single Ride ticket: $3.25

- Express Bus fare: $7 (cash)

- 30-day MetroCard: $121

- 7-day MetroCard: $32

- Access-A-Ride fare: $3

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