Traveling in NYC? Subway fare to soon increase by 25 cents

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NEW YORK (AP) — The cost of traveling in New York City is going up.

Beginning March 22, the cost of a subway or bus ride will increase by 25 cents, to $2.75, under a package of fare increases approved Thursday by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the state agency that manages subways, buses, commuter trains, bridges and tunnels in New York City and surrounding areas.

MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast said the increases will allow the authority to provide good service even as ridership climbs.

The price of an unlimited-ride monthly MetroCard will increase by $4.50, to $116.50.

The bonus for pay-per-ride MetroCards will increase to 11 percent from 5 percent.

"Our financial plan assumes modest biennial fare and toll increases, and the board has chosen options with lower increases for our most frequent customers," Prendergast said in a statement.

Fares will also jump an average of about 4 percent on the Long Island Rail Road and the Metro-North Railroad, and tolls will rise on the MTA's bridges and tunnels.

The subway system — the nation's biggest mass transit network — has recently seen record ridership, with more than 6 million customers on some days.

But the MTA's proposal for a $32 billion five-year capital plan to fund infrastructure improvements has a $15 billion funding shortfall.

A transit riders' advocacy group said additional fare increases are likely if New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers don't commit to funding the capital plan.

"Paying for public transit with fare hikes is a regressive way to fund a public service that the entire region relies on," said John Raskin, executive director of the Riders Alliance. "We urge Gov. Cuomo and the legislature to act quickly to fund the next MTA capital plan, instead of passing on the cost to overburdened riders."

Subway and bus fares last increased in 2013, when the cost of a single ride rose from $2.25 to $2.50.

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