1975: N.Y. Fares Raised in Crisis by Paul
Surprisingly (in view of past
experience) most New Yorkers bought the story whole, so that, a few days
before the increase took effect, there were actually fewer tokens in the
hands of riders than usual.
Those who kept an
eye on the situation must have started to wonder, though, when, on the
Wednesday before the new fare, supplies of the new tokens had not yet
shown up at token booths as promised. By Friday, the handwriting on the
wall became clearer as clerks limited sales to two tokens per passenger.
That same night, the TA felt safe in announcing that, due to the lack of
hoarding, they were going to retain the old tokens, and save the money
that would have been spent on turnstile conversion. The result was
instantaneous. Riders swarmed to the token booths for their last
opportunity to get a bargain, and the purchase limit was reduced to one
For the next two days, lines
formed at subway stations throughout the city, and some passengers drove
their cars from station to station, attempting to get a supply of
When Monday (and the new fare)
dawned, the familiar old token was still there, but at half-a-buck. The riders buying
them were a bit sadder, a bit poorer, and a bit
The Third Rail and The Third Rail
logo are trademarks of The Composing Stack Inc.
Return to The Third Rail Online Home
Everything on this site is copyright © 2000 by The Composing
Stack Inc., except as otherwise noted.
with other copyrights are used by permission.
Last updated Thursday, April 12, 2001