"We're dealing with a financial situation that I believe is going to require a fare increase." Yeah, that sounds pretty clear to me, no matter how many desperate old ladies take the mic.
It's madness, really, that you have a state government (whose political center of gravity is always going to be outside of NYC, in Carlandia) controlling the public transit budget of one of the biggest, richest, greatest cities in the world. Madness. Governor Paterson has cut $149 million of the MTA's budget over the last two years. Damn.