new york city metrocard fare increase
by beatriz gomez de castro, 17
As the academic and work year continues to rise, unfortunately so do metrocard fares. Metrocards are extremely important for average New Yorkers who are able to take advantage of the New York metropolitan transportation that excludes them from the chaos that occurs when driving in New York City. However, regardless of the impact metrocards have in transporting millions of people each day, fares continue to rise exponentially. Not only does this create numerous difficulties for individuals who rely on the New York metro to go about their day, but students who are not eligible for student metrocards will also be forced to spend an increasing amount each month to come. Known as the largest subway line in the world, New York City’s City’s metro systems continue to expand, and as they do, the price to use them keep increasing.
To start off, the New York subway is used by an increasing amount of New Yorkers every single day. Over four million to be more accurate. From New York’s richest, to the low income families that look to save in transport, everyone takes advantage of the fast, affordable mode of transportation. Why, however, do fares always seem to increase and is there some sort of factor that impacts the cost to rise yearly? Well, according to the transporting agency, it is a public concern. “The transportation agency claims it needs the money to help fund large-scale projects such as a 7 train line extension, a massive $71 million investment in better service and the Second Avenue line, which has been planned for nearly a century.” In other words, as the city stays the same size.
This change will impact everyone. Most individuals have set themselves a certain budget to live in New York City. With living expenses already incredibly high and rent, at many areas in the city, unaffordable, a budget is needed for daily transportation. This will upset people's ability to pay for certain things that should be just as prioritized, as they start to evaluate how to spend their already limited amount of income. For students, the transit is what allows many to actually reach their schools. Although going to school is mandatory under the law, these factors impede many kids from studying, and ultimately, graduating.
The transportation agency also claims that the increase will take in mind the users and attempt to not increase it dramatically. “The M.T.A. continues to keep its promise to make sure that fare and toll increases, while necessary to keep our system running, remain as low as possible and that they are done in as equitable a way as possible,” Mr. Prendergast says. Although this proposal seems decent, recent years have shown otherwise. Transit agencies have slowly, but effectively, increased fares exponentially since its original price. Since opening to the public in 1904, the subway has implemented changes of an entire dollar increase per subway ride. When it first opened, users were only charged a slim $0.05 to use the subway! Of course, money cost has changed over time, but even then, that amount would still only translate to $1.29. Overtime, the increase began. Starting with a couple of cent increases, the fair finally reached a dollar in 1986. That's an eight year difference for the system to increase its charge. In 1998, the unlimited ride was introduced, offering users to pay a higher price per month. This method also began to increase dramatically. Regardless of the small changes over time, the end result were the same and just as expensive. This brings into question: how much is enough?
According to the Daily News article, the next changes can come as an increase of a full quarter, bringing the fairs up to $3.00! Three dollars ultimately increase to six dollars when taking into account the ride back home. A high price,considering some users find themselves near the poverty line, and even more when some use the subway more than once a day. Although some students are excluded from the increase for now, others who do not meet the income to be eligible for free student metrocards, but also cannot afford a six dollar subway charge a day, find themselves paying large amounts to travel to school. Some students stress enough having to pay for school lunch on top of other things that metrocard payment just adds to the weight. Also, current seniors around the city find themselves paying for graduation expenses such as Senior Dues or the increasingly expensive college application fees. Although three dollars seems minute to those who are privileged enough to not have financial limitations, two trips a day for a ten month period quickly adds up.
It’s seems ridiculous to imagine a city where metro users are required spend over three dollars a ride, but with how things are progressing, this could soon become New York City’s reality. However, as part of a person's right, the ability to petition and form assemblies, protect and help tackle future and present injustices. If the transportation agency claims to raise prices for the cities benefit, we must comply while also looking out for eachothers interest. The metro system works and exists for the people's benefit, not the other way around.