Commuters weigh in on proposed LIRR fare increases at MTA meeting

With some tough times expected ahead, the MTA is considering some big changes.
Strong reactions were a part of proposals made by the MTA, including along the Long Island Rail Road.
For LIRR riders, proposals include increasing fares on all ticket types by 2% or 4%, increasing fares on one-way and 10-trip tickets while keeping monthly and weekly fares the same.
Another proposal garnering plenty of reaction would be to create a flat fare for all riders, who will be condensed into two zones - city and suburban.
Lastly, a plan calls to distribute mail and ride tickets through a mobile platform only.
MTA Chairman says since 2011, the MTA has issued fare adjustments about every two years. But he warns even with a new increase, the agency still will not come close to plugging a $16 billion deficit caused in large part due to the pandemic.
"To be clear the current fare and toll proposals are not intended to address our current financial crisis caused by COVID," says Foye. "As you know as a result of COVID-19, the MTA is facing the worst financial crisis in its history ... far outpacing anything we've ever dealt with in the past, including The Great Depression.”
The MTA says it is still hoping for financial help from the federal government, but without it thousands of employees could face layoffs and service could be cut by at least 40% on subways and 50% on commuter rails.
Riders had a lot to say in and out of the MTA's virtual public hearing Tuesday.
"If you raise the fares the ridership gets hurt. If you don't raise the fares we may have massive service cuts because they just don't have the money," says Gerard Bringmann, of the LIRR Commuters Council.
More virtual hearings will be held throughout the month, including one Thursday at 10 a.m. A final vote on fares is expected to happen in January and a vote on tolls in February.