The MTA is moving forward with an outer-borough rail discount plan this spring to cut the cost of LIRR trips within New York City by as much as 20%. But fares system-wide are expected to increase by 4% next year.
Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine and other elected officials are calling on the MTA to abandon the plan for an increase. They gathered at the Long Island RailRoad station in Ronkonkoma on Monday morning to make it clear that Nassau Country and Suffolk County commuters are already strapped for cash.
“Stop shortchanging Long Island,” Romaine said. “If you ride the train from this station and you’re a commuter, you’re paying $7,224 a year and that doesn’t include parking.”
The discount plan was enacted by the New York State Legislature as part of Phase 1 of congestion pricing to enhance transit access for millions of customers, according to the MTA. But some customers, especially those on Long Island, say it is unfair they’re not offered a discount especially when they have limited ways to get into the city in the first place.
The discount will be subsidized using funds collected from for-hire vehicle trips like Uber and Lyft in New York City According to the New York Legislature. The pilot program, which starts in May, will last between six months and a year.