The MTA board approved subway, bus and commuter train fare hikes Thursday, the third increase for straphangers since 2008.
The vote came just months after the MTA slashed bus and subway service, and cut thousands of jobs.
“I’m not going to support a fare hike – not now, not ever – when it comes with cutting service, laying off people and then asking riders for more,” Seabrook said.
Foye and Seabrook blasted state government in Albany for failing to adequately fund mass transit. Board member Allan Cappelli “unhappily” voted for the package, noting the board is legally required to balance the budget.
He, too, criticized state politicians who “stole” $160 million in MTA funding to help balance the state’s own budget.
“If we don’t increase revenues, we are looking at service cuts of a gargantuan nature,” Cappelli said
As a holiday gift millions of daily riders will start paying more starting Dec. 30.
The 30-day unlimited-ride MetroCard will rise from $89 to a whopping $104, while the unlimited-ride seven-day MetroCard jumpes from $27 to $29.
The MTA will no longer sell One-Day Fun passes or 14-day MetroCards, and a single ride will jump from $2.25 to $2.50. Bonuses on pay-per-ride MetroCards will plummet from 15% to 7% – and will start after riders spend $10, up from $8.
MTA Chairman Jay Walder has said the hikes – the third since just 2008 – are necessary to help fill budget gaps caused by sharp drops in tax revenues and funding cuts adopted by the state Legislature and Gov. Paterson.
The state late last year kept $143 million in transit-dedicated funds to help balance its own budget. Now $16 million from another pot of funding is being cut by the state, irate board members say.
In addition to raising fares, the MTA is cutting costs by about $500 million a year, officials have said.
It has laid off thousands of workers, including bus drivers and token booth clerks. Critics, including the Transit Workers Union and Straphangers Campaign, said the MTA should have shifted a fraction of federal stimulus money to avoid or delay hikes.