The MTA is having a board meeting today and the big topic is fare hikes. As has been the scuttlebutt since the weekend, the MTA will be discussing an "overall increase in fare and toll revenues of 6.5 percent," according to board members who spoke to the NY Times. How that translates into actual numbers is unclear, but it does means the base per-ride fares and unlimited Metrocard monthly and weekly fares would probably rise.
Just last month, the Independent Budget Office said that the MTA would have to increase fares by 20% by 2010 if the state doesn't come through with funding. Already, the MTA is facing huge deficits in the next few years - $1.46 billion in 2009, $1.78 billion in 2010 (the agency doesn't expect any congestion pricing revenue until 2010) - and it's generally believed that windfalls from NYC real-estate taxes will not be great enough to offset the need for fare hikes.
It's believed the MTA would introduce fare/toll hikes in 2008 and 2010: In 2008, hikes as well as agency cuts (but not service cuts) would be implemented; in 2009, agency cuts but no fare hikes (just as Kalikow promised); in 2010, smaller fare/toll hikes and agency cuts; and in 2011, agency cuts only.
The base fare was last raised in 2003, going up 33% from $1.50 to $2.00. The weekly and monthly Metrocard fares were raised in 2005 (from $21 to $24 for weekly cards, from $70 to $76 for monthly cards).
Photograph of transformed Metrocards by dM.nyc on Flickr