State lawmakers propose legislation to halt 2019 LIRR fare hike

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HICKSVILLE -

State lawmakers from Long Island have come up with a plan to fight LIRR fare hikes.

Despite having its worst on-time performance in 19 years, the LIRR's planned 4 percent fare hike is still on track for early 2019.

On Monday, a group of GOP state lawmakers proposed new legislation that would stop the MTA from raising the price of LIRR tickets until railroad service improves.

The proposal comes as commuters, including Milan Brusic, are dealing with irritating delays and cancellations.

"It's awful, you know, I can't depend on reliability. I push my schedule back just to accommodate for lateness," says Brusic.

Under the measure, a "commuter fund" would be created that the railroad could draw upon, but only if it achieved on-time performance of 94 percent or better and increase their customer satisfaction score by at least 5 percent.

"The MTA is investing a record amount of money - $6 billion - to completely modernize the Long Island Rail Road for riders, a transformation that is already well underway with the Double Track, Third Track, new cars, and new stations," an MTA spokesperson said in a statement.

Commuters say that until they see service improvements, the MTA should put the brakes on fare hikes.

The proposal would have to be approved in Albany before it could go into effect.

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