Is NYC’s subway about to get more expensive?

I was in New York recently, where there is talk that the MTA is considering raising the city’s subway fare from $2.00 to $2.50 per ride.

Why? The New York Times recently reported that the state of New York is trying to work out a bailout of the MTA, which is saddled with a $1.2 billion deficit. Failing to do that, the MTA says it plans to raise fares and toll revenue in 2009 some 23 percent to close that budget gap, along with making what the Times describes as “deep cuts in service.”

That means a jump in single-ride fares, and the cost of a 30-day MetroCard could increase to $104 by late next spring.

Obviously tourists are more inclined to be impacted by the simple single fare increase, even though $2.50 still seems like a pretty good deal for such a massive subway network. Sure, New York’s subway system is rundown, dirty and generally disgusting, but it does get you to pretty much anywhere you want to go in one of the world’s largest city.

I think of Berlin, where I live: Also a big city, with an amazingly extensive and efficient subway system. But single-ride fares there are nearly $3.00. Then again, I’d happily pay that in New York if they’d clean the subway up and figure out some way to let passengers known when they can expect the next train.

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