Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Proposed Fare Hikes & a Roosevelt Island Family of Four

The MTA has offered two fare hike scenarios. Under scenario one, the base fare would increase to $2.25 / fare and the unlimited monthly fare card would increase to $79 from $76. Under the second scenario the MTA is offering the possibility of a dual far system. Rush hour at $2.25 and off peak at $1.50 per fare. The proposal would increase unlimited monthly fare cards to $82.

My first reaction was that this dual fare proposal might save money. But then I decided to run the numbers for a Roosevelt Island family of four where both kids go to school off island. Granted the kids have their own school issued MetroCards so their fares don’t enter the calculations unless you count weekend travel which I am not including for the moment.

In our household each parent takes one child to their respective schools (each a peak fare trip) Generally my wife then picks up child one and then takes mass transit to our other child’s school and then heads home with both kids (generally both off peak fares). I then come home during the rush hour (another peak fare). To be conservative I am not including nights I work late which would be off peak. I figured not including this balances out days when they stay in Manhattan into rush hour.

Based on my calculations, using a 20 school day month, it appears we still do better under each scenario buying two monthly unlimited fare cards. For families whose kids can be walked to school or who go by bus where the parents don’t have to take mass transit these calculations will probably mean nothing but for those Roosevelt Island parents that both work off island (most of us do) and who commute with their kids it appears the unlimited monthly MetroCard card is still the way to go.

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