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Commuters protest MTA fare hike

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BROOKLYN – Commuters protested at the Barclays Center Sunday about the increase of MetroCard fares.

The seven-day MetroCard increased by $1, while the 30-day MetroCard went up to $121 from $116.50.

One-way tickets will remain the same at $2.75 for both subways and local buses. The express bus fare will also stay at $6.50.

The E-Z Pass and cash tolls will also be increasing at the Verrazano and RFK Bridges, as well as the Midtown Tunnel.

The MTA also said that this year’s fare hike is the lowest fare and toll increase since 2009, but the increase isn’t sitting well with low-income residents.

Monica Martinez, a mother of three from Queens who relies on public transportation, says sometimes if she has to choose between getting her family home on the subway or skipping a meal, she opts for not eating.

“One in four low-income New Yorkers can’t afford subway and bus,” says Rebecca Bailin, of the Rider’s Alliance. “They can’t get on it unless they jump turnstiles, skip meals. They risk arrest when they jump a turnstile, they have to beg for a swipe.”

Bailin says she is calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio to amend his budget to include funding for half-priced MetroCards for low-income riders.

The MTA says it plans to raise rates again in 2019.

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