The Coming Fare Hike Aside, Your Pay-Per-Ride And Unlimited MetroCards Are Now The Same

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In a week, your MetroCard will be a little more heavy on your wallet. That's right; March 1st is the day the fare hike passed a few months ago activates. On that day, single fares will permanently rise to $2.50, weeklies to $30 and monthlies to $112. Yes, you probably know all about this but here is a bit of good news for people who love good news.

As of this week, you can now combine your mighty, unlimited MetroCard with your average, pay-per-ride MetroCard. Basically, if you upgrade a MetroCard with $5 already on it to an unlimited, that leftover cash will be stashed away for further use. Once the month is over, the MetroCard will revert to pay-per-ride and you'll be left with the $5. And this works vice versa, too: you can add a few bucks to your unlimited if you're that forward-thinking.

So you won't have to miss your train in order to renew it or get a quick single-ride but can't because the ticket machines are, of course, all not accepting cash.

In an effort to reduce the thousands upon thousands of yellow throwaways that litter New York, MTA interim head Thomas Pendergast told reporters this week that the new proposal is better for the environment and, also, your wallet. The $1 MetroCard refill fee will now be a thing of the past for users of this combo card. Buy yourself a can of soda with your new, well-earned money.

With the coming fare hike, we're just trying to make light of the good news we can find. Is that too much to ask for?

[jsurico15@gmail.com/@JSuricz]

State Senate OKs Budget Resolution That Takes $770 Million from MTA Investment

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The New York State Senate on Monday night passed a budget resolution that would bleed $770 million from the MTA's Capital Plan, part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed budget, if made into law.

The Republican-led Senate also voted down a plan to up the MTA's bond cap by $7 billion.

While this sounds totally confusing -- as if these public finance facts were being voiced by the teacher's in Charlie Brown, or something -- it's actually quite important to understand.

That's because cap plan cash basically pays for 33 percent of downstate construction gigs. Upstate, it boosted the economy to the tune of 79,869 jobs between 2005 and 2009, according to Transportation Alternatives, a transit advocacy group.

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MTA's New Financial Plan Shows Fare Increases in 2013, 2015

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The MTA Board met this morning to present and discuss its newest financial plan for 2012 through 2015, a plan still in its preliminary stages. To everyone's likely dismay, it projects fare increases, but also promises no service cuts based on the budget. "[The plan] presents at least a fragile stability for the organization," outgoing MTA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jay Walder said at the meeting.

"Fragile" is...well, we'll take what we can get.

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Man Tackled Aboard Flight After Trying to Enter Cockpit; PATH and Second Avenue Subway Tunnels Breached

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• Yesterday a 28-year-old man with a Yemen passport was tackled by crew members and passengers when he started pounding on the cockpit of an American Airlines plane approaching San Francisco. The man was put in handcuffs by a flight attendent and the plane landed safely; he was then taken into police custody. This marks the "third disturbance of the day" in U.S. air, following an incident in which a man tried to open a plane door during a flight (don't do that!) from Houston to Chicago, and another flight en route to San Diego from Detroit that landed in Albuquerque due to a security scare. [ABC]

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MTA Backs Down in Fight Against East Village Metrocard Artist

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Some of the artist's work.
On Friday we wrote about East Village artist Victoria, or VH, McKenzie, who had been creating oil paintings on discarded Metrocards and selling them on Etsy for $48 apiece. An MTA marketing intern, part of whose job it is to seek out unauthorized use of the MTA trademark, discovered the cards and emailed McKenzie to tell her to remove her art from Etsy. What followed was a series of emails between McKenzie and Mark R. Heavey, MTA Chief of Marketing & Advertising, and reporting on the situation in the Wall Street Journal, New York Post, Gothamist, and others (as well as updates on McKenzie's Tumblr). It seemed that the MTA was adamant that the artist had to pay a licensing fee in order to continue to sell her work. But as of yesterday morning, the MTA had a change of heart.

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Bench Made of 5,000 MetroCards Looks Cool and Uncomfortable

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via Co.Design
Where do MetroCards go when they die? Since there's no proof of MTA heaven (yet), we have to just assume they get tossed with the rest of the subway trash. How sad! Our little yellow friends that grant us access to all of the transportation New York has to offer are forgotten one by one. But not to fear, a local artist named Stephen Shaheen has re-purposed over 5,000 cards in a special way. Shaheen created a super modern bench out of the plastic cards that can hold up to three adults. The bench is reinforced with an eighth-of-an-inch steel structural frame, which is so Apple of him. But where did Shaheen get 5,000 MetroCards anyway? Craigslist, of course! It only took a week for Shaheen to get all of the cards he needed.

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