New York City Transit did avoid a looming strike, but is looking to vote on a fare hike that will take effect in spring.
Trying to close a $1 billion budget gap, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will vote to authorize public hearings on proposals to raise bus and train fares from $1.50 to either $1.75 or $2.00.
The deficit was caused by such factors as increased pension costs, the loss of aid in relation to September 11 and possible costs of future terrorist acts. The budget gap is expected to be at $1.7 billion in 2004.
In negotiations with the Transport Workers Union, the MTA cited its financial situation in offering no raises in the contract's first year, said the Associated Press.
The agreement reached Monday called for union members to get a $1,000 lump sum in the first year and 3% increases in the second and third years.