Comptroller report: LIRR fares could increase if additional funding not found

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LINDENHURST -

A new report from the state comptroller found that fares on the Long Island Rail Road "could increase faster than already planned" if additional funding is not found for "maintaining, modernizing and expanding" the regional mass transit system. 

The LIRR has had fare hikes every other year since 2009. The next one is scheduled for 2019. Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says it could come even sooner.

DiNapoli says the MTA has invested more than $120 billion in capital improvements since 1982, but the pace of the investments has not kept up with the need.

MTA Board member Mitch Pally says he doesn't think riders will see fare hikes anytime soon.

"There are other ways to do this without raising fares," says Pally. 

He says the MTA should consider "congestion pricing."

"It would increase costs for people entering Manhattan by vehicle," says Pally. "It will also significantly change how we operate the bridges."

He also suggested putting tolls on the East River bridges and reducing the price for bridges that have tolls. 

George Banos, of Lindenhurst, told News 12 that he was not happy about the prospect of raising fares on the LIRR. 

"Are you kidding me? The service is terrible. The bathrooms – half of them you can't get in. Nothing but trouble," says Banos. 

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