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Steve Chiotakis: As American cities go, New York is the priciest place in which to live. Try owning a car there — it’s not easy on the pocketbook. At least there’s a subway system that’ll get you around, right? And if you depend on that, look out for an even lighter wallet. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has to make up for a big shortfall. Here’s Marketplace’s Jeremy Hobson.
Electronic Train Announcer: This is a Manhattan-bound 6 train.
Jeremy Hobson: In New York City, the MTA is life. Two bucks will get you almost anywhere in the metropolitan area; $81 will get you a month’s worth of unlimited travel. Well, at least for the moment, says MTA Spokesman Jeremy Soffin.
Jeremy Soffin: You know, we don’t have the ability to print money. There are only two things that we can do: We can cut or we can raise fares and tolls.
The plan is to do both. If the cash-strapped state doesn’t bail out the MTA, subway fares could rise to $3 a pop by summer — $105 for a monthly pass. Soffin expects some people to abandon public transit altogether.
Soffin: There will be some dropoff.
But at Grand Central station, the reaction is a bit more stoic:
Commuter Guy: No other option.
Commuter Woman: Most definitely not. I will not cut back on my transit, no way. It’s a good deal anyway.
Of course, more passengers don’t necessarily spell more revenue for the MTA, which actually loses money on every ride.
In New York, I’m Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.
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