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Subway & bus fares increase as of March 3, 2013

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Mar 2nd, 2013, 11:02 AM
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Subway & bus fares increase as of March 3, 2013

Just want to update everyone on the latest information on the NYC Subway & Bus fares

As of of March 3, 2013 the subway & bus fare will increase from $2.25 to $2.50.

The single ride card (purchased from a MetroCard Vending Machine or MVM) will increase from $2.50 to $2.75. A single fare card is valid for 2 hours from time of purchase. There are no transfers from subway to bus using this card.

The subway fare is paid using a MetroCard. If you purchase a MetroCard form the MVM or from a subway booth for $5.00 or more then a 5% bonus will automatically be added. Of course the bonus amount will not be enough to cover a full fare but you can add additional money ("refill") at any MVM or booth.

MVM's accept cash, credit and debit cards. Minimum credit/debit transaction is $2.50. Minimum cash transaction is 5 cents. There is a limit of 2 transactions per day per credit or debit card. If you are visiting form overseas and use a credit/debit card the MVM may ask for your 'Zip Code" - that is the 5 digit mailing code used in the US. If your card was not issued in the US then enter '99999' on the keypad on the machine and press the enter key.

Booths are cash only and minimum purchase is $5.00.

A regular MetroCard (known as a Pay-per-ride or PPR) can be used to cover fares for up to 4 people (as long as you put enough money on it).

***** Please note that as of March 3, there will be a $1.00 surcharge added to the cost of a NEW MetroCard purchased from a MVM or booth. There is no surcharge to refill an existing MetroCard.

Unlimited ride MetroCards:

7 day $30 (increased from $29)
30 day $112 (increased from $104)

Unlimited cards are intended for use by one person, meaning they cannot be shared. Once used the card is locked out for 18 minutes. The $1.00 surcharge applies to purchase of NEW Unlimited cards from a MVM or booth.

When the fare is paid by using a regular MetroCard on the subway, a free transfer to a bus is encoded on it (valid for 2 hours from when the fare was paid. The same applies if the fare was first paid on a bus - you can transfer to the subway or to another bus within the 2 hour limit.

Bus fares can be paid by using the MetroCard or in coins (no bills, pennies or Kennedy Half dollar coins).

---------

I would not normally recommend this but if you want to avoid the $1.00 surcharge (and you don't already have a MetroCard) and you should see a discarded MetroCard on the ground or near a MVM, look at it - if it hasn't expired (look at the date on the back) and the card is clean, and not bent, then use the refill function in the MVM or at the booth tell the station agent you want to add - whatever amount you want - to the card.
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Mar 2nd, 2013, 06:13 PM
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Thanks for the info.
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Mar 10th, 2013, 05:35 AM
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Thanks for posting, I didn't know about the increase or the fee for a new card.
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Mar 10th, 2013, 08:18 AM
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Thanks, NYCGuyI

I wasn't aware of the fee for the new card either. What a rip off! There's no purpose for it except to squeeze more money out of us.

If they charge for new cards, then they should do away with expiration dates.

Something tells me we're now going to see a lot fewer discarded cards on the ground from now on.

I also never knew about that 99999 thing. I've often wondered how foreigners handle the zip code.
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Mar 10th, 2013, 09:49 AM
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To provide a little perspective - the $2.50 fare allows unlimited use of the subway - all lines - all directions. Theoretically you could never emerge at all - since they run 24/7.

The cheapest fare for the London tube (which charges by distance) is about $6 for a one-time fare or about $3 if you use the discount fare. Longer distances are more costly - and since it doesn;t run 24/7 - the use is limited - and you have to get out at the place you have paid for.

Not that we should be paying more - but it's really not such a bad deal.
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Mar 10th, 2013, 12:03 PM
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Panecott,

The purpose of the large fee is to provide enough incentive for people to keep refilling the card.

The actual cost to the MTA of producing the cards is about 5 cents each. A 5 cent surcharge would not be a sufficient incentive for people to refill old cards.

The expiration date is necessary as it represents the estimated useful life of the magnetic strip (based on at least 2 uses daily).

And you are right - the amount of cards discarded has dropped drastically in one week.

I was going to mention this but if a Non-US visitor uses their card and doesn't know about the 99999, if they wait a couple of minutes the MetroCard Vending Machine will automatically proceed with the transaction. I mentioned the 99999 because I have too many visitors put in their 4 digit PIN code not realizing what the zip code means.
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Mar 10th, 2013, 03:04 PM
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So, I wonder if they will charge the $1 fee when someone replaces an expired card?

Also, I sometimes combine two or three cards with small balances into one, (I misplace them and have to buy new ones), and they usually give a totally new card. I wonder if that will also cost $1?
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Mar 10th, 2013, 03:20 PM
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"So, I wonder if they will charge the $1 fee when someone replaces an expired card?"

No, a replacement for an expired or damaged card will be free if you turn it in to a booth for replacement. I imagine you can also mail in for reaplcements.
http://www.mta.info/nyct/fare/NewFares.htm#aboutfee

"Also, I sometimes combine two or three cards with small balances into one, (I misplace them and have to buy new ones), and they usually give a totally new card. I wonder if that will also cost $1?"
I do that pretty often and actually since I'll want to keep the individual cards as spares, I will ask for them back. It never made sense to me that they give you a new card--talk about waste!
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Mar 10th, 2013, 03:35 PM
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I've always been amazed that in NYC it costs the same to go 8 blocks as it does to go many miles. In fact MTA charges the same for the shortest subway ride you can do as for the longest. Are there other cities this large that do that? Certainly not London!
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Mar 10th, 2013, 03:44 PM
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I couldn't believe how cheap the travel was on the NY subway.
$ 2.50 is a bargain.
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Mar 10th, 2013, 03:52 PM
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NeoPatrick, having a single price for the whole system makes sense on 2 levels. It keeps a long standing committment to all New Yorkers, even those in the "outer boroughs" to have equal access to all parts of the city and jobs etc. In fact the Staten Island Ferry was made free in part to allow SI residents to pay a single fare --free ferry then a subway and free bus transfer if necessary. It's not perfect and many people in Queens still take private van shuttles to get to distant subway stations, but at least the idea is there and we are very attched to that here!

Also there is a huge savings in equipment and personnel in that you do not need machines to check the fares as you leave and people to help with adding money and or enforce the law.
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Mar 10th, 2013, 04:08 PM
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NeoPatrick

The fares on these subway systems are fixed regardless of distance:

PATH (NJ/NY)
CTA (Chicago)
SEPTA (Philadelphia)
LA Metro (Los Angeles) - except for the silver line which has a higher fare.
MBTA (Boston)
MARTA (Atlanta)
Metro (Baltimore)
Metrorail (Miami-Dade)

The BART system in San Francisco and the WMATA Metrorail in Washington, DC on the other hand are distance based.
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Mar 11th, 2013, 05:27 AM
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Thanks for the information, nycguy and nyer. I guess I've always been so impressed with the London system, where you swipe a card and it automatically deducts an appropriate amount for the distance you travel, determined when you exit and within which zone. Yes, you do have to swipe both entering and exiting for it to work, but it's an amazing system which even figures when the fares equal a maximum that it would be for a special travelcard and then it no longer charges you. Same on the buses.

I'm just always surprised (I'm not sure why) when other countries seem to be so technically advanced compared to us.
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Mar 11th, 2013, 06:53 AM
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I'm not sure that that is more advanced - it's our philosophy to charge all riders the same. So you don't need a lot of the technology to calculate cost of rides.
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Mar 11th, 2013, 07:45 AM
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Well, the "advanced" part I was referring to is their entire "oyster" system, which as I understand it, saves them a ton of money overall. At least once the system was set up, I don't think there is any real cost of "calculating" the fares.

At the same time, I'm curious if a short ride on the NYC subway was much cheaper than going all the way to JFK or beyond from downtown for example, if MTA would pick up thousands and thousands of more fares from those who now avoid doing short trips that will cost $2.50. Of course, the downside to that idea could be more crowded trains, particularly midtown!
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Mar 11th, 2013, 08:33 AM
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But the idea is NOT to penalize most of the riders from the outer boroughs - who typically have longer commutes and often lower incomes. Also - they frequently need to change lines to get to their destination - making even less sense for differing prices.

I can't imagine people taking a subway versus walking because the price is $2 versus $2.50. Those people often take a bus versus the subway.
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Mar 11th, 2013, 08:40 AM
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Sorry, nytraveler, all I'm saying is that it works great in London. That's all. And "changing" lines has NOTHING to do with it.

But apparently the NYC system works perfectly already. Why change perfection, right? That's why they're rolling in profits!
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Mar 11th, 2013, 08:42 AM
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If I recall correctly, Wash. DC has the same type of system as London.

You swipe at both ends and it deducts the cost of the ride by distance.
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Mar 11th, 2013, 09:21 AM
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"At the same time, I'm curious if a short ride on the NYC subway was much cheaper than going all the way to JFK or beyond from downtown for example, if MTA would pick up thousands and thousands of more fares from those who now avoid doing short trips that will cost $2.50. Of course, the downside to that idea could be more crowded trains, particularly midtown!"

NeoPatrick, your question has been addressed somewhat first when free transfers were introduced (bus to bus or subway/bus, bus subway) You used to pay for each segment until the 80s, I think.

Then when unlimited MetroCards came along, the question was whether people were taking more short rides, more trips than they would otherwise, or both.

I think the statistics and surveys over the years have proven "both", more rides, including more shorter ones. The question you also pose though is would people still pay for these "extra" rides if they were paid, but at a lower rate.

I don't know that answer. When I used to commute to entry level work and had to take a subway and a bus, paying for each, it really bothered me to pay so much, When the free transfers came along, it was really great. But if I had to go back to paying extra, even at a lower fare ? Who knows.

For many New Yorkers , convenience trumps all so you'll often see people hailing cabs if they've been waiting at a bus stop (in Manhattan) for more than 3-4 minutes
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Mar 11th, 2013, 09:41 AM
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The NYC subway system doesn't work perfectly since the federal government has chosen to heavily subsidize highways and airlines rather than mass transit. the riders carry the burden of the costs for subway, bus and local rain lines.

If you were to decrease short-distance fares you would up usage - and wear and tear ad require more trains (not really possible during rush hour) and the cost would have to be paid by the fares going up for everyone.

Why?

As it is if someone wants a short ride for $2.50 they can have it. They're not going to get it for substantially less than that - since no one else is going to want to subsidize it.

It is not a different technology. It is a different philosophy.
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