MTA Fare & Equality Crisis

Vanaija Shelton

Lawmakers in New York City believe that MTA fares should continue to rise. Over the years residents of the city have watched fare prices change every few years. The question residents have though is why? What exactly is being payed for?

The MTA imposes new fare increases every two years in order to keep up with rising costs. Bloomberg stated, “The 115-year-old system has been plagued by problems resulting from decades of deferred maintenance, underfunding and damage to its track and signaling equipment after tunnels were flooded during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Andy Byford, who’s in charge of the city’s subways and buses as head of the MTA’s New York City Transit authority, has said it would cost $40 billion over 10 years to get the system up to 21st century standards.”


Abandoned J Train Station Bushwick, Brooklyn

Since 2009 the base fare has transitioned from $2.25 to $2.75. Now a single ride metrocard itself is $3. Although the fare has been consistently sitting at $2.75 since 2015, unlimited metrocard prices have risen. An unlimited weekly went from $32 to $33. An unlimited monthly also just rose from $121 to $127.

Recently, a new video surfaced of several police officers pointing their guns through a train window at a young African American male who didn’t pay his fare. Scared, shocked, & disgusted was the initial reaction of those who saw the video. Several guns pointed at one young man for not paying $2.75? They reported that the officers thought he had a gun, but pointing guns at a train full of pedestrians isn’t ok. Incidents like this leave residents baffled at the fact that fare evasion is worth more than a life. 

Another video surfaced on social media of a police officer punching two teenage males in their faces on a train station platform. The video showed a young man stepping back after trying to break up a fight & an officer came through and knocked him to the ground. Moments later the same officer was seen on camera swinging on a second young male. This young man, however, decided to defend himself against the officer, ultimately fighting back. The cause for this was a reported fight in the train station. One of the victims reported that he had nothing to do with the fight and actually didn’t arrive until after the altercation.

Some say that the officer did what he had to do, but others believe it was excessive.


Fulton Street Station Manhattan


MTA fares should not increase. Understandably the upgrades have to be paid for some type of way, but getting around is already expensive and a hassle. Sometimes repairs can take months even years. Detours and alternative routes can often be out of the way and add on additional travel time to a commute.

Everyday approximately 5.7 million people a day ride the MTA. Daily the MTA makes over a million dollars to say the least. 

This past weekend an abundance of protesters got together and protested against the MTA in downtown Brooklyn . Protestors spoke to news reporters and communicated to them that the service that residents receive on the MTA isn’t worth the rising prices to get around. This protest was also a result of the recent viral events taking place in train stations. It’s more than about fares, it’s about equality as well.

If residents don’t speak up about the inequalities then who will? Who’s going to give New Yorkers the effective transportation they deserve?


Categories: Environment, Opinion

Leave a Reply