Comptroller Wants MTA To Lower NYC Fares

If you ride the MTA Long Island Rail Road or Metro North between stops within the 5 boroughs, you know how expensive the ride can be. Fares can go up to over $10 during rush hour.

However NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer wants to see those high prices come to an end as he is calling for the agency to lower the fares on both railroads for travel within the 5 boroughs to the base NYC Bus & Subway fare of $2.75. Rich Calder of the New York Daily News has more:

City Comptroller Scott Stringer called on the MTA on Tuesday to lower all LIRR and Metro-North fares for stops within the five boroughs to the base $2.75 price of a MetroCard.

Speaking outside the LIRR’s Murray Hill station in Queens, Stringer released a report that claims the shift would cut commute times in half for many passengers, relieve overcrowding on subways and buses and dramatically expand mass transit in 31 neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx for 1.4 million New Yorkers.

“There are commuter lines like this where people from Westchester and Long Island who use these trains to swiftly pass through our neighborhoods, and there’s what’s left over for working New Yorkers who can’t afford the price of these fast commuter trains,” Stringer said.

“They get the overcrowded subways that break down every day … and [trains] and buses that take twice as long to make the same exact trip to Manhattan … It’s not right and it’s not fair.”

Rush-hour LIRR tickets now cost as much as $10.25 for trips within the five boroughs. In June, the LIRR lowered the price for commuters leaving from Brooklyn’s Atlantic Terminal to nine city stations during rush hour to $5.

Stringer said the average LIRR train has 233 empty seats during the morning rush and 282 during peak evening hours.

MTA Chairman Joe Lhota issued a statement saying he plans to review Stringer’s report but that the agency already disagrees with his “assertions about excess capacity.”

“The MTA is not a financially self-sustaining organization and for the recommendations of the City Comptroller to be implemented, a subsidy is required,” he said. “It is fiscally irresponsible to make a transit benefit recommendation without identifying a source of funding — especially given the MTA’s massive financial needs.”

Click here for the complete report.

I am all for lowering the fares for travel within NYC on the LIRR & Metro-North as they are incredibly expensive & overpriced. However I have to call into question the statistics spewed by the comptroller.

I highly doubt his numbers in terms of empty seats during the rush hour are accurate. I like thousands of other riders on the LIRR & Metro-North can attest to the sardine like conditions on a daily basis during the AM & PM rush hour commutes. Just stand in Grand Central, Jamaica or Penn Station and see how many 10+ car trains go by that have every single seat taken and still have a good number of riders forced to stand.

Chairman Lhota also accurately called out the comptroller for being a typical elected official with suggestions for anything & everything except on how to get more proper funding for the much maligned agency.

So will we see a reduced fare of $2.75 from the railroads for travel within the 5 boroughs? I highly doubt it……


xoxo Transit Blogger

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