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Metro-North Fares to Increase as Part of MTA Rate Hike Plan

Metro-North Railroad riders will be paying anywhere from 8.19 percent to 9.31 percent more for a ticket should a proposal for fare and toll hikes unveiled Monday be approved.

The actual amount of the increase will depend on the distance traveled with discounts for traveling during less busy off-peak times.

Discounted monthly or weekly unlimited-ride tickets are available, as are one-way and round-trip tickets, discounted if bought as 10-trip tickets.

All tickets are less expensive if purchased at a train station but more expensive if purchased on a train.

MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph Lhota blamed the proposed increases on costs for which the agency has no control, including debt service, pensions, energy, paratransit, and employee and retirement health care. He said they continue to increase “beyond the rate of inflation.”

State Senator Stephen Saland (R-Poughkeepsie) said the proposed Metro-North increase is “unwarranted as it is unnecessary.” He said Hudson Valley residents and transit users “can no longer serve as the piggy bank for an agency that stands as the poster child for failed government operations.”

The MTA board will vote on the increases at its December 19 meeting and take effect on or about March 1, 2013.

Tolls and fares would also increase on buses, subways, bridges and tunnels the agency operates.

Public hearings will be held on the proposed Metro-North fare hikes on Wednesday, November 14 at the Hilton Garden Inn off Route 17K in the Town of Newburgh and on Thursday, November 15 at Yonkers Public Library.

The MTA will also afford a time for persons to go to the Poughkeepsie Railroad Station and record a three-minute videotaped comments.