Not again.  How students are coping by Shantia Dobson

The MTA has introduced new fare hikes for commuters, leaving many feeling disgruntled as they already face hard economic times. Many accuse the agency  as out of touch with reality by imposing increases in fares. The round of hikes that took place recently, is the fourth in five years, making them too close together for comfort.

The new fares are: $2.50 for a single ride, up 25 cents; $30 for a 7-day MetroCard, up one dollar; and $112 for a monthly MetroCard, up from $104. The increase will reportedly bring in more revenue to the City to reduce debt, and to assist in employee health benefits. But many wonder why this is the commuters’s responsibility.

Ashraf Ali, 20, a junior at CCNY, voiced his frustration by saying, “ Everyone is having hard economic times and $8 more will affect everyone. There needs to be a change in structure; there should be cuts in boss’s salaries and employees.”

Paul, an MTA worker at the 233st station in the Bronx, didn’t defend the hike. He doesn’t know that much about it.”They only provided us with this information,” he insists, pointing to a bulletin printed on the glass window behind his work station.

The MTA has also added a  $1 fee for commuters who misplace their metrocards. The goal: to drive people to reuse their metrocards as a part of the new green initiative to reduce garbage and clean up stations. Paul suggests ways to get around the fee. “You can now add value to your card; hold onto it,” he advises. “You can add $112 if you buy the monthly onto it and this way you can prevent that $1.00 fee.”

Most students don’t have $112 lying around. In fact, Rico Suave, a senior, says he’s had to find creative ways to save on transportation. “My friend’s mom works at a high school,” he explains, “so I use a high school metrocard so the hikes don’t affect me.”

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