Good evening, my name is Francis Corcoran, speaking as a member of the Metro-North Railroad Commuter Council. As a Council and a voice for the ridership, we are unified in our opposition to any fare hikes or increase of fees for any services across the MTA that would place an additional financial burden upon riders. It is also impossible to comment on raising fares when faced with the prospect of 50-percent cuts to service. Why should riders pay more for less?
We know these are difficult times for Metro-North and the MTA as a whole, but they are also extremely difficult times for families and businesses and any increases passed along to them creates an undue hardship. We understand that the MTA is hurting, but so are riders. It is unfair to those who make the conscious choice to come back to mass transit to be punished by having to pay for the loss in revenue for those who have not.
Increasing fares will cause more riders to get into their cars. Instead, we should be looking at ways to incentivize riders to get back on board. Reward those of us who lead the way in getting us back to where we need to be from a revenue standpoint. Be creative. For instance, we would support a discounted 20, 40 or 60 trip ticket with a longer expiration time – say 6 months or a year – that could replace the traditional monthly. Consider decreasing fares to increase ridership by looking at pilot programs that lower fares in times of lowest ridership to support our changing needs and the ways we travel and encourage people to travel by train.
On Wednesday, you’ll be voting on a budget that includes revenue from fare increases. We urge you to reconsider and to look at other ways to make up that revenue. It should not be on the backs of riders. Thank you.
Read full testimony here: MNRCC Fare Hearing Testimony 12.14.2020 – Francis Corcoran