New York’s MTA Says Subway Fares Will Rise Less Than Forecast

New York’s subway and bus commuters will see fares rise more slowly than projected over the next few years, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said.

A year after Hurricane Sandy caused about $5 billion in damage to its system, the agency said increased cost cutting, lower expenses and higher operating revenue should allow officials to raise fares and tolls by 4 percent instead of the projected 7.5 percent in 2015 and 2017. Chief Financial Officer Robert Foran told board members of the projections today at a meeting in Manhattan.

“We try to keep costs down in order to minimize the financial burden on our customers, and as this financial plan shows, we are succeeding in that effort,” Chairman Thomas Prendergast said in a statement.

In March, the MTA raised its base fare for subways and buses by 25 cents to $2.50 and monthly unlimited passes by $8 to $112.

Smaller biennial fare and toll increases through 2017 would reduce revenue by $905 million, according to the November financial plan that Foran presented today. The agency said it will offset the loss of revenue by boosting internal cost cutting. The plan eliminates $240 million in deficits for next year through 2016 while projecting a gap of $191 million in 2017.

Risks to the budget remain, including the assumption that the agency will achieve the net-zero wage increases it seeks from unionized employees currently working under expired contracts.

The MTA employs 66,000 workers and carries 8.5 million riders a day on subways, buses and commuter railroads. Board members will vote on the final budget next month.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.