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Commuters in the Big Apple breathed a big sigh of relief Monday night after the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced there will be no fare hike on subways and buses in the city this year.

The MTA operates subways, buses and two commuter railways, and raises fares and tolls every two years.

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But MTA Finance Chair Larry Schwartz said the fare hike will not take place in view of the continued COVID-19 pandemic and its negative effects on New York’s economy.

“There’s not going to be a fare hike in 2021, period,” Schwartz said following a meeting of the MTA Finance Committee.

“I don’t think at this time and place raising fares on any New Yorkers is appropriate. At a time when we need to increase ridership, raising fares does the opposite,” he added.

A four percent fare hike was planned for earlier this year but at that time, too, officials announced the fare increase would not take place until 2022, until the local economy shows signs of a recovery.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.