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New York transportation authority announces plans for proposed fare hike
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13:18, July 26, 2007

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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) responsible for public transportation in the state of New York on Wednesday announced plans to increase fares on subways and buses in an attempt to close a budget gap.

The fare increases will take effect sometime next year, but officials have not yet said how much they will be.

The fare hikes are part of a plan to augment the revenue by 6.5 percent, or about 320 million U.S. dollars annually.

Elliot "Lee" Sander, CEO of the MTA, said: "We have not increased fare since 2005 and the 6.5 percent represents an increase designed to keep pace with inflation."

Despite finishing recent years with surpluses, the MTA has been projecting an 800-million-dollar deficit next year, growing to 1.8 billion dollars in 2010 - the result of years of excessive borrowing to pay for system upgrades.

Though some riders oppose the plan, others acknowledged that prices have to go up sometime.

The MTA board has authorized a series of public hearings on the fare increase. A final decision is unlikely to come until December.

Source: Xinhua

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