Gov. Kathy Hochul’s budget freezes MTA fares through 2022

Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposed budget includes funding to stave off transit fare hikes for the rest of 2022, the MTA said.

Hochul and the MTA had previously pledged to keep fares frozen “indefinitely” as the transportation authority struggles to lure ridership back amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Her proposed budget released on Tuesday allows the MTA to get to the end of the year with a balanced budget, the MTA said.

“Business logic says this is not the time to raise fares and the governor has been clear since taking office that she intends to support the MTA’s efforts to attract riders back to mass transit,” spokesman John McCarthy said in a statement.

“Funding has been provided to avoid fare hikes anytime this year, allowing the MTA Board to be in a position to consider adjusting the financial plan to delay fare changes that would require New Yorkers to pay more to ride.”

The MTA has struggled with low ridership during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Christopher Sadowski
Gov. Kathy Hochul
Gov. Kathy Hochul’s budget would allow the MTA to end the year with a balanced budget.
Mike Groll/Office of Governor Ka

MTA officials have instituted fare and toll increases every two years since the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, which forced difficult cuts across the agency.

Officials have continued to raise tolls at the authority’s bridges and tunnels, where traffic has returned to pre-pandemic levels. Acting MTA Chair Janno Lieber has expressed a desire to return to that pattern of biennial fare hikes once COVID subsides.