Transit systems across the country are feeling financially squeezed, and many are passing the pain along to riders through fare hikes. New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority, the nation’s largest system, has just raised the cost of its monthly passes, the second such increase for the city's straphangers in two years. The Metro in D.C. will raise rates on July 1, and some other systems across the country are considering following suit over the course of the year.
In the wake of the increase in New York, where a monthly unlimited pass now costs $121, Value Penguin analyzed the affordability of more than 70 transit systems across the U.S. Encompassing cities large, small and in-between, our analysis considered not only the cost of fares (actually, we based the calculation on the least-expensive monthly pass) but how deeply that expense cut into the average income of the city’s transit commuters.
Both the cost of passes and incomes ranged widely from city to city, leading to big differences in how much of the average commuter’s paycheck goes towards taking the bus or train to work.