MTA To Pilot $33 Weekly Unlimited Rides For OMNY Users

MTA To Pilot $33 Weekly Unlimited Rides For OMNY Users

The MTA is planning to introduce a fare-capping pilot this spring for weekly OMNY passes — an effort to reward riders who use the brand new tap-and-go system, which presently doesn’t have any limitless plans.

The pilot, which the MTA shared with the New York Instances earlier than discussing it publicly, would give riders who spend greater than $33 in a single week — from Monday at 12 a.m. to Sunday simply earlier than midnight — a weekly limitless move for that point interval. That’s the equal of 12 rides at $2.75, so the financial savings kick in for OMNY customers who use the subway 13 occasions or extra through the seven-day interval.

This system, which is open to all OMNY customers, is slated to start on March 1, 2022 and can final for 4 months.

The brand new push follows the governor’s announcement in November that there can be no fare hikes till 2023 and no service cuts both — a part of the MTA’s ongoing effort to carry ridership ranges near pre-pandemic ranges. Whereas the MTA broke pandemic-level ridership information final week, with greater than 3 million each day customers each weekday, it’s nonetheless not near the 5.5 million each day subway riders the MTA noticed earlier than COVID.

Appearing MTA chairman Janno Lieber instructed the Instances that the fare capping pilot program might price the company between $3 million to $5 million a month in misplaced each day fares, however the probability to entice riders again into the system is value it. A latest MTA survey discovered that many lapsed riders had a damaging notion of the subway system, however as soon as they took the subway once more, riders had been extra prone to preserve driving.

Advocacy group TransitCenter performed a survey in 2019 that discovered individuals who dwell in lower-income neighborhoods use the 7-day limitless greater than the 30-day limitless card. The group recommends the MTA undertake each a 7- and a 30-day fare capping program.

“So a lot of the value of fare capping would accrue to riders who can afford the 7-day pass but not the 30-day pass. That only works if there’s a 30-day option, though — those riders don’t benefit from a fare capping program that only kicks in for a 7-day period,” Ben Fried of Transit Middle wrote in an announcement. “The caveat is that we don’t have COVID-era data yet, so the types of fare passes people are buying have probably shifted somewhat. But the same basic idea applies no matter what — it’s not a full fare capping program, with all the benefits that entails, without a 30-day option.”

State Senator Andrew Gounardes launched laws this fall that might cement capping as a part of the MTA’s fare construction.

“A pilot to continue the unlimited transit fare system under OMNY is a good start but it needs to be made permanent. My bill will ensure that this happens,” Gounardes wrote in an announcement. “Mandating this savings program will incentivize ridership and continue to make the subway an affordable option for New Yorkers.”

Meeting Member Robert Carroll, co-sponsor of the invoice, added it might forestall the MTA from reneging on this plan.

“ We should still work to pass this legislation so that we don’t backslide or regress when ridership rebounds, and suddenly the MTA decides to no longer offer a monthly or weekly option,” Carroll mentioned.

Carroll mentioned the MTA ought to go additional and take a look at a yearly choice, in an effort to get firms to carry their workforce again to work on mass transit.

The MTA board will vote on the pilot Wednesday.

Source link