Discounts for some PATH train tickets may be about to disappear, but many passengers have no idea.
Michael Margent, a software engineer, takes the PATH train from Newport station in New Jersey to the 33rd Street station in New York every day. He usually buys a 30-day unlimited trip ticket at the end of every month, which winds up being cheaper than using the single-ride Metrocard.
But starting in this November, Margent and other passengers may no longer have access to cheaper tickets.
The Port Authority announced a fare increase plan last month. The agency?s Board of Commissioners is expected to vote on this plan in late September.
The current 30-day unlimited pass costs $89, or a little over $2 a ride for someone who goes back and forth each weekday. But if fare increases are approved, unlimited pass holders will eventually pay approximately $2.75 per ride, same as the single-ride Metrocard price.
?I am not aware of the fare increase,? said Margent. He?s OK with it, if PATH officials ?put more routes and more trains.?
?But if they just waste the money, which they probably will, then I really don?t want to spend the extra money,? Margent said.
Mike Cinquina purchases 40-trip tickets which costs him $84 each, for an average of $2.10 per ride. He also didn?t know about the impending hike. ?Jersey City is growing so much in recent couple years,? he said, ?and the rush hour trains are packed. I wouldn?t mind paying a little more if they can improve the service.?
PATH fares haven?t risen since 2014. According to PATH general manager Clarelle DeGraffe, PATH will freeze the base fare of $2.75 while reducing discounts for multi-trip purchases this year and the following year.
If the fare hike happens, the tickets? prices will increase over two years:
? Ten-trip package costs would increase from $21 to $25 in November 2019 and to $26 in November 2020.
? Twenty-trip package costs would increase from $42 to $50 in November 2019 and to $52 in November 2020.
? Forty-trip package costs would increase from $84 to $100 in November 2019 and to $104 in November 2020.
? Senior package costs (eligible for those 65 and up) would increase from $1 to $1.25 in November 2019.
? Unlimited 30-day passes would increase from $89 to $106 in November 2019 and to $110.25 in November 2020.
?We are trying to adjust the fare to align with New York City transit system,? said DeGraffe.
According to the Port Authority, the fare hike is needed to fund $4.8 billion in additional projects, which includes funding the $1 billion PATH improvement plan announced last month. The plan aims to add more cars and a new signal system, and deploy new technology for equipment maintenance.
Sandra Wells, a commuter working in Jersey City and living in Midtown Manhattan, also had no knowledge of the proposed fare increases. ?I never heard about that,? she said. However, she has few complaints. ?The New York City subway often increases its fare,? she said. ?I got used to it. You just have to pay.?
Before the Port Authority?s Board voting, six public hearings will be held in New York and New Jersey.
Remarks can be sent in on the Port Authority?s website now, and the dates and times of the public hearings are as follows:
? July 16 at 8 a.m., 4 World Trade Center, 150 Greenwich St., 23rd Floor, New York.
? July 17 at 8 a.m., 2 Montgomery St., Third Floor, Jersey City, N.J.
? July 18 at 7 p.m., Newark Terminal One Redevelopment Outreach Office, 79 West Jersey St., Elizabeth, N.J.
? July 22 at 7 p.m., College of Staten Island ? Williamson Theatre, 2800 Victory Blvd., Staten Island
? July 29 at 7 p.m., Hilton Hasbrouck Heights, 650 Terrace Ave., Hasbrouck Heights, N.J.
? July 30 at 7 p.m., JFK Building 14, Third Floor, Jamaica, N.Y.