MTA Reminds Customers that Fares and Tolls Will Increase in Early March


The MTA Bus Company is well along the road to greening its operation through the incorporation of sustainable technology. Aside from the vital fact that MTA buses remove tens of thousands of cars from area streets and highways, the agency has been at the developmental forefront of technologies and practices intended to make municipal bus transportation as ecologically benign as possible.

Customers are already familiar with the agency's fleet of Hybrid-Electric buses. Currently, more than 360 hybrid buses are operating for MTA Bus Company-- buses that, on average, are 30 percent cleaner than their conventional diesel counterparts. Hybrids have also proven to be more fuel efficient with a clear advantage in the stop-and-go driving conditions seen throughout the New York metropolitan area.

While the hybrids are common sights on the streets these days, the technology is still evolving, particularly in the area of storage batteries. MTA Bus Company is currently testing Orion Hybrid/Electrics with a lithium-ion battery array in place of the lead-acid batteries. These lithium batteries have a longer life-span, the ability to capture more of the braking energy from the bus, and is much lighter, trimming about 3,200 pounds off the 4,000 pound weight of the lead-acid batteries.

In order to further increase the efficiency of the hybrids, MTA Bus Company has changed the propulsion management software to dial back the acceleration rate so that the bus consumes less fuel. As oil prices climb higher this becomes even more important.

Of course, in an agency as large as MTA Bus Company, the agency looks for improvements in all areas, including the recycling of usable parts from buses that are being retired. Bus Company President Joseph Smith has taken a hard look at how his department disposes of items. "In the past we had been scrapping our buses intact, but that makes little sense when we are still operating similar vehicles. An item as simple as a bus window costs upwards of $900.00 apiece. That's money we're saving by removing the windows from scrap buses and reusing them when needed," Smith explained.

Guided by a responsibility to the environment and the need to make more efficient use of funding, MTA Bus Company will continue to look hard to find savings in other areas as the agency continues to attract more riders. New battery technology and the recycling old bus parts are impressive, but it won't end there.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is reminding customers that fares and tolls will increase at the beginning of March.

The need for additional revenue, which had been assumed in MTA budget forecasts beginning in 2009, was confirmed in July 2012. The MTA announced specific fare and toll increase proposals last October. The proposals were reviewed at a series of eight public hearings and four public video submission sessions held throughout the region in November. The MTA Board adopted the increases on December 19.

Fare and toll increase details follow for each of the MTA's services.

New York City Subway, Buses in New York City, Staten Island Railway & Access-A-Ride

New fare rates for subways, buses, Staten Island Railway (SIR) and Access-A-Ride will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, March 3.

The base fare for subways, local buses, SIR and Access-A-Ride is rising to $2.50 from $2.25; the base fare for express buses is rising to $6.00 from $5.50. The pay-per-ride bonus discount will be reduced to 5% from 7%, but will now be available for adding as little as $5 onto a MetroCard, down from $10 previously. A Single Ride Ticket purchased from MetroCard Vending Machines is rising to $2.75 from $2.50.

The 30-day unlimited-ride MetroCard will cost $112, up from $104. The 7-day unlimited-ride MetroCard will cost $30, up from $29. The 7-day express bus plus MetroCard will cost $55, up from $50. Unlimited-ride MetroCards purchased on March 2 or earlier must be activated by Monday, March 11, to obtain full value. Those activated after that date will allow travel through April 9 for 30-day cards and March 17 for 7-day cards. Any remaining time will be refunded on a pro-rated basis.

A $1 fee will be charged for each new MetroCard purchased at a MetroCard Vending Machine or station booth. At commuter rail stations, the $1 card fee will be applied to MetroCards providing bus and/or subway travel only; the $1 fee will not be applied to Joint Rail MetroCards providing subway, bus and commuter rail service. Customers can avoid this fee by keeping their MetroCard and refilling it at any vending machine or station booth. MetroCards now can be refilled with any combination of unlimited-ride time and/or pay-per-ride dollars. Customers turning in an expired or damaged card will be provided a new card at no charge. There are also exemptions for those who buy cards at out-of-system merchants or participate in the EasyPayXpress program or a pre-tax benefit program.

More information about fares on subways, buses and SIR can be found here:

Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad

New fares went into effect on the LIRR and Metro-North on Friday, March 1 for monthly, one-way, round-trip, and 10-trip ticket holders. For those using weekly tickets, which are always valid from Saturday through the following Friday, new fares take effect on Saturday, March 2.

On average, most commuter rail tickets have increased between 8.2% and 9.3%, depending on ticket type and distance traveled. The discounted CityTicket fare for one-way weekend travel within New York City has increased to $4.00 from $3.75, starting March 2.

More information about fares on Long Island Rail Road can be found here:

More information about fares on Metro-North Railroad can be found here:

MTA Bridges and Tunnels

New toll rates on the seven bridges and two tunnels that are operated and maintained by the MTA will go into effect at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 3. At most crossings, tolls are rising to $5.33 from $4.80 for E-ZPass customers and to $7.50 from $6.50 for cash customers.

For more details about ways to save on tolls, click here.