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Straphangers Lament Potential MTA Fare Hike

NEW YORK (CBS 2) -- Are you ready for to shell out more for a monthly MetroCard?

There's a $130 idea floating around at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority prepares to hold public hearings over fare increases next month.

CBS 2's Don Dahler spoke with stunned commuters – whose reaction to the news of more fare hikes proved to be more dependable than the subways themselves.

"I think it's ridiculous," said David Lung of Manhattan.

There was no shortage of shock.

"Come on, man!" said city resident Richard Bev. "They just make it harder and harder for working class people in the city."

The MTA wants to increase revenues from fares and tolls by 7.5 percent. To do that, they are proposing various fare increases and changes to the bonus rides you get for buying multiple-trip cards.

"I think that it's too expensive," said Lucy Kleban of Brooklyn. "Not a good idea."

But it was the fine print in the MTA notices talking about the changes in the monthly MetroCards that sent some riders into shock.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS' Terry Sheridan reports

The MTA says it will offer either a 90-trip limited card for $99, or an unlimited card for $104. But if they were to offer both, the MTA says the cost of unlimited cards would soar to $130.

And for weekly MetroCards, the options are 22 trips for $28, or unlimited for $29. But, if both options were offered, unlimited cards would cost $38.

"Today's MTA announcement is really a firm slap in the face to the riding public," said Noah Budnick of Transportation Alternatives. "It's really unbelievable after the fare hike last year, the worst service cuts in a generation, and they're coming back with an ungodly number for a monthly MetroCard."

Yet the MTA says the highest fares are unlikely.

"The notice is written to allow enough flexibility for the Board to incorporate public input on the best way to achieve that increase," the MTA said in a statement.

The spokesman says the highest fares aren't part of the proposed changes, but rather an explanation to a Board member's question about what it would cost to offer both capped and unlimited options.

The MTA says its goal of raising $400 million in additional revenues can be achieved without instituting the $130 monthly MetroCard option.

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