After a week and a half of limited but quickly recovering subway service in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the MTA held the first of eight public hearings about its proposed fare hike last night. The hike, which is intended to cover $380 million in lost state funding, may take the form of either the single ride fare increasing to $2.25 or the price of monthly pass increasing to $125, among a few other options.

Though turnout among straphangers’ advocates was low, those who did attend the meeting did not reserve any venom. One went so far as to call the transit authority “sadistic” for holding the meeting in the wake of the storm. “I didn’t hear anyone calling for not having the election,” said MTA Chairman Joe Lhota. “We have to continue. We have to move forward.”

The good news: though the subway system suffered extensive damage in the hurricane, Lhota and co. are confident that FEMA and the transit authority’s insurance companies will reimburse nearly all of it–so it isn’t likely that the hike will go up any further.

The MTA board will vote on the hike next month, and if passed, it will go into effect March 2013.

(Photo: Ged Carroll/Flickr)