MTA presents fare increase options; LIRRCC reacts

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The MTA has released the options for the mandatory 7.5% yield fare increase to go into effect in 2013.  There will be a series of eight fare hearings across the MTA service area starting November 7th.  There will also be four video testamony locations. Members of the public who wish to record a videotaped comment can visit the following MTA facilities at the listed times. All comments will be transcribed and made part of the permanent record of these hearings. Please note there is a 3-minute time limit for each individual’s videotaped session, and there will be no question-and-answer period. For an indepth explanation of the fare options and the hearing schedule click here.

Members of the public are also encouraged to submit written comments via to the MTA’s website, or register to speak at a public hearing by calling (718) 521-3333 between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.  MTA Board Members will review transcripts of all public hearings and submitted videos, as well as copies of all written comments submitted via the web. Those who wish to submit a comment via letter are asked to send it to:

MTA Government Affairs
347 Madison Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10017

The proposals will be subject to modification after the public review process and will be considered for adoption by the MTA Board at its December 19 meeting. The new fare and toll rates would go into effect on or about March 1, 2013.

 

Long Island Rail Road Commuter Council
Reacts to MTA Fare Proposals

At a time when our Council is still fighting to restore previously cut service and when ridership is struggling to return to previous levels, the MTA today announced fare increases that will raise riders’ costs between 8.2 and 9.3 percent.

These increases would be devastating to workers who more than ever need affordable public transportation to reach their places of employment.  This proposal has real world consequences.  For example, a couple who commutes from Ronkonkoma to Manhattan will under this proposal be forced to pay more than $720 monthly for Long Island Rail Road fares.  Add to this amount the monthly costs for using New York City Transit that could be as high as $250 per month under this proposal, and this couple will face an exceptional burden in terms of transportation costs.

“Taking Ronkonkoma as an example, costs of almost $1,000 per month for a two-commuter family are an extreme burden,” said LIRRCC Chair Mark Epstein.  “The LIRRCC recognizes the financial difficulties that the MTA faces, but these issues cannot be resolved on the backs of commuters.  This level of increase is not sustainable in the long term and the MTA Board needs to look not only at ledgers, but at how this proposal affects riders’ lives.”

The LIRR and MTA should be encouraging use of the Rail Road by commuters, students, and leisure travelers.  All these fares do is discourage use of the LIRR.  Public transportation is essential to the economic life of Long Island and the State.  The burden of paying for public transportation falls heavier upon our riders than on riders anywhere else in the nation.  We call on the Governor and State leaders to convene a wide ranging discussion on funding and fares for public transportation and to develop a sustainable funding model for the MTA and public transportation across the State.

As we reach out to MTA Board Members on these issues, we again note the absence of a Nassau County representative on the Board.  “Long Island must be fully represented on the MTA Board in making this decision, as it has a profound impact on the future of Long Island.  Nassau riders deserve to be heard,” added Mr. Epstein.  We ask that immediate action be taken to fill this position.  Once again riders are being asked to pay more, with no light at the end of the tunnel.

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