[an error occurred while processing this directive]November
Straphangers Campaign and Transportation Alternatives Issue First-Ever In-Depth Report on Fare Discounts; Urge Adoption of New Discounts and Say Will Not Cost MTA
Riders Want 5-Day
"Flexible" Unlimited-Ride Passes,
Also Calls for Lowering Fare to $1.40 By Ending 10% MetroCard Bonus
The NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign today released the first-ever in-depth report on New York City subway and bus fare discounts and called on transit officials to adopt several new discounts.
These included a 5-day "flexible" MetroCard good for non-consecutive days of unlimited rides, replacement of lost or stolen MetroCards, a 14-day unlimited-ride MetroCard and lowering the base fare from $1.50 to $1.40 by ending the 10% bonus when you buy $15 on a pay-per-ride MetroCards.
The group said the new discounts could be implemented without costing the transit system additional revenue and would make subways and buses more convenient to use, increase ridership and make MetroCard discounts more accessible to lower-income riders. (See attached summary.)
The 63-page report was based on a comprehensive telephone survey of 800 New Yorkers conducted in September 2002 and showed riders strongly interested in MetroCard improvements.
Currently, city riders can buy
MetroCards good for one, seven or thirty consecutive days of unlimited rides, as
well as get a 10% bonus for buying $15 or more on a pay-per-ride MetroCard.
These discounts were introduced beginning five years ago in July 1997, with the
start of free MetroCard transfers between buses and subways.
"Subway and bus riders want new and improved fare discounts," said Gene Russianoff, senior attorney for the Straphangers Campaign. "If the MTA offers them, more riders will come and mobility for hundreds of thousands of riders will greatly increase."
The report estimated that the
new discounts would be revenue neutral for the transit system through a detailed
analysis of respondent's current travel and purchasing patterns and their likely
commuting with the recommended new discounts.
The survey was conducted for the Straphangers Campaign and Transportation Alternatives by Bruce Schaller , a widely-respected analyst who has worked for the New York City Transit Authority and the Taxi and Limousine Commission.
"New fare discounts will attract more New Yorkers out of their cars and onto subways and buses," said John Keahny, executive director of Transportation Alternatives.
An advance copy of the report was provided last week to officials at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and MTA New York City Transit, which runs the city subway and bus system. (A copy of the report can be found at www.straphangers.org.)
The survey was funded through a grant from the J.M. Kaplan Fund.