Several ideas about how to raise MTA fare and toll revenue — including implementing a flat fare for LIRR trips made between Long Island and New York City — will be the topic of a series of virtual public hearings that begin Tuesday.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is holding eight virtual public hearings through Dec. 21. More information on how to watch the hearings and participate in them is available at new.mta.info/2020hearings.
“The MTA will begin the standard review process for fare and toll adjustments, although we recognize this year is anything but standard, with a series of virtual public hearings,” MTA chairman Patrick Foye said in a statement. “With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we are committed to reviewing a wide variety of proposals and will work to minimize the impact on our customers.”
The hikes aim to raise the MTA fare and toll revenue by 4%. If approved by the MTA Board early next year, the new rates would take effect in the spring.
Under one plan being considered, the Long Island Rail Road would replace the distance-based fare model it adopted nearly two centuries ago and replace it with a flat fare for trips made between stations on Long Island and stations in New York City. The model also would do away with “peak” and “off-peak” pricing, and instead charge the same fares at all times.
Under another proposal being considered, LIRR monthly pass-holders would not see their fares go up. Instead, the LIRR would raise rates only on “non-commutation” fares, including one-way and round-trip tickets — most of which would increase in cost by between 7% and 10%.
The LIRR is also considering replacing Mail & Ride tickets with downloadable electronic tickets, which would save on printing and postage costs.