MTA warns of more fare hikes, cuts

Officials at the MTA say there is a new $200 million gap in the agency's budget, which could lead to additional fare increases and service cuts on top of the ones that were approved in March.

Metro-North riders in Westchester and the Hudson Valley could see fewer trains and feel the effects of other cost-cutting measures. However, they will not be hit with another fare increase beyond the one scheduled for June.

In an effort to close the widening budget gap, fewer cars will be added to trains, even during rush hour. The number of trains will also be cut on nights and weekends. Other cuts would involve reducing the number of manned ticket windows and conductors. In addition, trains and stations will be cleaned less often.

Some Hudson Valley commuters say they are willing to sacrifice comfort to a degree, but they refuse to stand in overcrowded trains for the entire commute.

"I would never drive into the city, that's not a sensible option for me," says Bonnie Sachs, of White Plains. "So I will grin and bear it, but I just think there is only so far they can go."

Despite the cutbacks for the MTA and Metro-North, the Bee-Line buses will not make any service reductions. However, the price of a single ride will rise to $2.50 in June.

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