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Subway, Bus Fares Expected to Rise 35 Percent By 2015

State Comptroller finds MTA fare increases to be double that of inflation.

Subway, Bus Fares Expected to Rise 35 Percent By 2015

Fares and tolls on city subways and buses are expected to increase 35 percent by 2015—a rate double the current rate of inflation, according to a report released Wednesday by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

The report looked at MTA’s fare increases in 2008, 2009 and 2011, as well as those scheduled for 2013 and 2015, along with the rate of inflation.

"Fare and toll hikes continue to outpace inflation, placing a burden on working men and women across the metropolitan region," DiNapoli said in a statement.

The 2008 fare increase matched the rate of inflation at around 3.9 percent, but the next year saw a 10 percent hike in fares and tolls, followed by a 7.5 percent price increase in 2011.

According to DiNapoli’s report, fares rose 21.4 percent in four years. During the same period, inflation was pegged at 8.9 percent.

The MTA does have plans to cut costs and save $213 million by 2016, according to the comptroller’s office.

But plenty of significant challenges remain for the fiscally strapped transit agency.

"Ridership is rising and the MTA’s finances are stabilizing, but there are areas of concern,” DiNapoli said. “The pace of the economic recovery, litigation challenging the constitutionality of the Payroll Mobility Tax, collective bargaining and funding for the next capital program could all affect the budget."

Paul Leonard contributed reporting.

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