Thursday, October 7, 2010

Transporation costs going up...maybe

So apparently New York's MTA is going to raise fares 17% on the monthly unlimited subway card, starting in January. Practically that means my transportation costs go from $89 to $104. I do get this as a pre-tax perk, which is nice but still a hefty jump.
I may start counting my subway rides to see if it would be cheaper to do a pay-per-ride card -- I'm not clear whether the bonus* that goes along with those cards is going away.
I am glad they're going to start allowing the monthly cards to be refilled and reused.
Sometimes I look forward to leaving New York. Even though $104 per month for all transportation is still way cheaper than owning a car, it still kind of feels like I'm getting ripped off here. They discontinued one of my train lines, are running older trains in bad condition, removed station booths and corresponding station agents, and they're still raising fares? How does that work out?
*The bonus currently works like this: if you put $8 or more on your card, you get a 15% bonus, so your $8 buys you $9.20 on the fare card. You have to work out where it actually works out to free rides, though, since the fares are $2.25 each way (that'll be increasing as well).


  1. Hi! I always read your blog but never comment! BOO to me!

    Anyway I live in NYC also and I feel you. When I moved here five years ago the unlimited was $72 then it was raised to $81 now $89 and I'm sure in January to $104. It's getting a bit ridiculous! I'm going to sit down this weekend and do the math to see if it's worth shelling out the $104. Last year at work a guy did the math and I think he said if it goes above $92 it's not worth it. I get the card pre-tax also but I'm not so sure it's worth it anymore.

    The bonus will change too. You will have to spend $10 to get the bonus fare! BOOOOO!

  2. Yay, an NYC reader!

    You're right, the unlimited WAS $72 -- maybe even less when I moved here (lo, these eight years ago...). I didn't buy a monthly unlimited for the first year or so I lived here (I lived within eight blocks of my jobs) but I definitely remember spending $72 on them. Wow, how times have changed. Do you remember the subway ads after the last hike, proving how, according to inflation, rides were actually cheaper than they used to be?

  3. That's freaking annoying...

    I think it's just the cost of utilities going up perhaps, or SOMEONE is sneaking money SOMEWHERE

  4. Ha! Yes, I remember that bs! I also remember when the MTA was in a surplus I believe in 07. What the hell happened that fast? Something is NOT right with the MTA! NYC is now the most expensive city for trains. Miami was #1 because there unlimited was $100 but as usual we've now taken over the spot!

  5. I feel the same way about the Metro in DC. Where is the money from the increases going?


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