A number of Queens state lawmakers helped push through the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) announcement yesterday that starting this spring, full-price fares for most travel within the city on MTA Metro-North Railroad and MTA Long Island Rail Road will be reduced thanks to funding from the Outer Borough Transportation Account.
Several state lawmakers were part of the announcement as they were involved in getting the funing for the pilot program.
- Full-price fares reduced by 10% for Metro-North travel entirely within the Bronx and Manhattan will be available for monthly, weekly, one-way, round-trip and 10-trip tickets, during peak and off-peak times.
- Full-price fares reduced by 10% for LIRR travel entirely within Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan will be available for weekly, one-way, round-trip and 10-trip tickets, during peak and off-peak times.
- Full-price fares reduced by 20% for LIRR travel entirely within Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan will be available for monthly tickets.
The discounts will not be available for tickets that are already discounted, nor for special events tickets. All existing fares and tickets will continue to be offered. Eligible discounted tickets will be available on all modes of purchase including on board, through eTix, and from ticket windows and ticket vending machines (where available) at LIRR and Metro North stations within New York City.
Continuation of the discounts after the conclusion of the pilot requires continued availability of funds. The funds for the pilot have been made available through the Outer Borough Transportation Account, which is controlled at the discretion of the New York State Legislature.
The account was established as part of the surcharge on for-hire vehicles passed in 2018 to provide additional resources for transit improvements in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.
The fare discounts come as the MTA has committed to bringing accessibility to nine commuter rail stations throughout the city including Forest Hills, Hollis, Hunterspoint Avenue, Locust Manor, Mets-Willets Point, and St. Albans in Queens. The fare changes also complement recent Metro-North upgrades to stations including those at the Flushing-Main Street station.
“Improving transit access by lowering commuter rail fares for New York City riders has long been a priority for me. We worked diligently with the MTA on the Atlantic Ticket pilot program, and I am pleased to see this fare reduction program announced ahead of the congestion pricing rollout. Providing commuters quality, affordable alternatives to driving is a desirable policy goal, so I look forward to continuing our work with the MTA to identify needed improvements for outer borough commuters,” said State Sen. Leroy Comrie (D-Jamaica, Cambria Heights, Queens Village, Hollis, St. Albans, Laurelton, Jamaica Estates, Briarwood, Hillcrest, Kew Gardens).
“These significant fare reductions that Assemblywoman Rozic and I secured as part of the 2019 budget are great news for LIRR riders in Northeast Queens. I want to thank Assembly Speaker Heastie, Governor Cuomo, MTA Chairman Foye, and our partners in the New York State Senate for working together to provide this much needed financial relief for NYC residents who rely upon our commuter rail system,” said Assembly Member Edward C. Braunstein (D-Bayside).
“As part of last year’s state budget, it was critical for us to ensure that the needs of our communities were not neglected. Relief in the outer boroughs where commuters are far too familiar with increasing fares and travel times is long overdue and I look forward to seeing these improvements through for Northeast Queens transit riders,” said Assembly Member Nily Rozic (D-Flushing, Queensboro Hill, Hillcrest, Fresh Meadows, Oakland Gardens, Bayside, Douglaston).