A round trip ticket for New York City residents while factoring in minimum wage increases and access to the new Commuter Benefits program is probably the cheapest it has been in over 4 decades.
Here is the BIG picture below based on the following assumption:
here has been some extremely favorable factors that have reduced the TRUE COST of a round trip ticket.
1. Minimum Wage
Yes, Minimum Wage in New York City has been very well positioned to combat any increase in Metro Card prices. In the above interactive report; the two graphs on the far right side show the similar increase in both pay and metro car prices. This is showing that inflation/minimum wage is keeping up with the basic cost of public transportation.
2. MTA Metro Card BONUS
The Bonus was introduced back in 1998 with a 10% bonus when spending $15.00 or more. You can see from the table below that the MTA has played around with the % bonus as well as the minimum purchase amount to obtain that bonus. This year the equation changed and is one of the most favorable bonus allocation ever: 11% when you buy a round trip ticket.
3. New NYC Transit Tax Deduction
In 2015 NYC requires employers with 20 or more full time employees to offer pre-tax earnings to purchase transit options. (http://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/383308/NYC_Local_Law_53-1-1.pdf) For those of you in the minimum wage bucket: State Tax: 4.5% / Federal Tax: 15% / City Tax: 3.5%
That is an additional 23% savings, and if you are higher up in the tax brackets, we are talking 40% off your metro card.
*An ironic side affect of the commuter benefit program is that it takes away a small chunk of tax dollars away from New York City and thus allows for less money to be invested in public transportation. ooppsss
Metro Card and bonus Rates: http://web.mta.info/mta/investor/pdf/2015/AppendixASupp51215.pdf
Minimum wage: https://www.labor.ny.gov/stats/minimum_wage.asp
Commuter benefits: http://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/383308/NYC_Local_Law_53-1-1.pdf