MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick Foye announced on Tuesday, Jan. 19 that the transit agency would be postponing a scheduled fare increase for several months.
Due to decreased ridership during the COVID-19 pandemic, the MTA has struggled financially, even with a $4 billion federal stimulus that was agreed upon last month.
The MTA normally schedules an increase of 4 percent every two years.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked economic havoc — devastating the MTA’s ridership and revenues and bringing them to levels far worse than the Great Depression,” Foye said. “It has also hit people of color and low-income communities hardest, many of whom are the very same essential workers that have been on the frontlines of this crisis and who are also most dependent on mass transit.”
As part of its biennial review of fare and toll policy, the MTA conducted eight public hearings and received 2,100 public comments.
“What we heard at these hearings was that people are suffering and cannot shoulder even a modest fare increase right now,” he added.
The MTA also has hope for $8 billion from President Joe Biden, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Foye said the MTA plans to move forward with a discussion and vote on recommended toll changes in February.