Board member calls on MTA to nix LIRR fare hike

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MINEOLA -

A Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board member is calling on the agency to nix a proposed fare hike for Long Island Rail Road riders.

Board member Mitch Pally called on the MTA financial officer to find another way to raise revenue.

"For many of us who have been through a number of these fare hikes over the years, I think we're getting to a point where it's no longer an acceptable option," Pally said.

LIRR riders have seen fare hikes every other year since 2009. The next one is scheduled for 2019.

Longtime commuters like John McLoughlin, of Mineola, said it's about time someone came forward against the increases.

"I think that's a long-awaited cry for the voice of the commuters who have been long-suffering with delays and deteriorating service," he said.

Last week, News 12 reported on state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli's financial outlook for the MTA that stated if additional funding wasn't found soon, fares could increase faster than already planned.

At a meeting Wednesday, MTA officials did not address that but said at this point they do plan to go forward with the 2019 increase.

The proposed fare increase is not scheduled to be voted on until January 2019. Pally said he hopes other alternatives will be considered before then.

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