“I am extremely disappointed that the MTA Board has chosen to once again raise Long Island Rail Road fares on overburdened, overtaxed Long Islanders. This most recent fare hike, the sixth since 2003, will only make the LIRR increasingly unaffordable and do nothing to encourage mass transit use.
Overburdened LIRR commuters, who already pay the MTA thousands of dollars a year in commuting costs, will now be charged nearly nine percent more for a monthly ticket. Riders will also have to pay up to 15 percent more for one-way, round-trip, and ten-trip tickets. Riders are being forced to pay these higher fares despite the fact that the MTA received nearly $4 billion in state operating aid in the 2012-13 state budget, a five percent increase over last year, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars in new state funding for capital projects.
The timing of this increase is especially troubling. Families are struggling with high taxes, high unemployment, and the challenges of recovering from the tremendous devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. They simply cannot afford to pay more, but that is what the MTA is forcing them to do.
New York State, as well as many families and businesses, have closed budget gaps by reducing expenses, improving efficiencies, and doing more with less. Those are the examples the MTA should have followed, instead of once again balancing its books on the backs of riders.”