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User-no-relation t1_jclvbx5 wrote


vanshnookenraggen t1_jcm10kc wrote

The cost of everything has gone up, and now there are a third fewer daily riders.

One of the biggest factors is debt. The MTA pays for all their capital improvements with debt, which has to be repaid. And right now, when interests rates are high, that debt costs a lot more.


I__LOVE__LSD t1_jcnak4q wrote

Interest rates are high in the context of the past decade, but not so much in the context of the last century.

The St Louis Fed has this chart of the fed funds rate going back 70 years, and where we're currently at is still fairly low.


ArcticBeavers t1_jcnjw5j wrote

MTA had it's highest day of ridership in 3 years yesterday. Obviously still much less than pre COVID but 1/3 might be a bit much


oreosfly t1_jctzbtg wrote

Not really. Average daily ridership pre COVID was about 5.5 million. 3.94 mil / 5.5 million = 71.6%, which is not that far off from 66.7%.


ChrisFromLongIsland t1_jcmgtt5 wrote

The costs have gone up vs inflation because other things goods and services have experienced efficiencies and there has been very little efficiencies in the MTA even 100 years later.

The second part. Ridership has declined during covid so there are less fares but the MTA is incapable of cutting service or moving around the schedule to meet changes in demand due to the union.


SnooSongs2714 t1_jcomzxe wrote

Seems like they can’t cut service because of the public outcry too. Seems like there are always people at board meetings complaining about every modification of service. As a general rules, seems to me the public only want more service, not less.


User-no-relation t1_jcmnukl wrote

I mean it went from $1.75 100 years ago to $2.75. That's not a huge increase


edman007 t1_jcn4ste wrote

No, they are saying it was $1.75 for everything, now it's $8.25 and you pay a third ($2.75).


User-no-relation t1_jcn5qgt wrote

The graph is inflation adjusted


edman007 t1_jcn7paq wrote

Yes, it's inflation adjusted. But it's the cost to ride, not the per customer cost to operate. It's missing the second graph, the subsides provided by the government.

They were 0 when it started. It's absolutely not anymore. The MTA says fares only make up 23% of their budget. So MTA wide, the cost per ride is $11.96.

That $1.75 at the start was more than the cost per ride (since they were private companies with some amount of profit). The $2.75 for today is a tiny fraction of the cost.


lilBob1989 t1_jcnzgid wrote

Huh interestingly that is a lot closer to true average price on london tube


woodcider t1_jco3tbk wrote

We complain but a flat fare is such a good thing for commuters.


IIAOPSW t1_jcniv1s wrote

Well, the first part of the graph from 1904 to 1954 is a historical accident. Basically the subway was built by contracting it out to private companies, namely the BMT and IRT. But the city couldn't afford the full price up front, so part of the payment was that these companies got to also run the service and collect fares. Part of the contracts made certain stipulations to prevent these companies from screwing the public, among them being fares were capped at 5 cents. Flash forward 50 years, inflation happens but fares are still capped. Populist view both companies as "greedy corporations" and have been trying to murder them since the 20s, and so they finally get their wish. Neither company could stay solvent at that price cap, and no elected official wanted to amend the contract and let them raise it. The city buys up the bankrupt private operators which is how we get to where we are today. Then for the first time fares get to rise to match (and apparently surpass) inflation.


damnatio_memoriae t1_jcnsdt1 wrote

stipulations to prevent companies from screwing the public?

imagine such a world...


tonka737 t1_jcqtsu1 wrote

Everything also going bankrupt or investors choose not to take on that burden and the city is left trying to dig itself out of financial holes via taxes and such. Sounds shitty to me.


AnacharsisIV t1_jcnuat7 wrote

Maintenance has to be a huge part of it. There are parts of the system still using parts designed (if not manufactured) a century ago. In many cases there are no companies manufacturing replacement parts, so they have to be machined in-house by the MTA. I'm pretty sure there are literal blacksmiths employed by the MTA because that was still state of the art technology when the subways were constructed.

Years of deferred maintenance are catching up.