LIRR could see fare hikes, less trains if MTA does not get federal funding
Daily life for thousands of Long Island commuters could drastically change for the worse if the MTA goes through with its proposed cuts to make up for revenue lost in the pandemic.
At the Ronkonkoma train station Thursday afternoon, LIRR President Phil Eng called on the federal government to give the MTA $12 billion to keep the system operating at its current level through 2021.
MTA officials say they lost billions of dollars during the pandemic. The LIRR says ridership is currently down 73%.
Jerry Bringmann, of the LIRR Commuter Council, says if federal aid doesn't come, fare increases could be as high as 10 to 15%.
"Even though ridership is down, what you're going to see is crowded rush hour trains when service is cut. This is not what you want to see during a pandemic," said Bringmann.
LIRR officials say trains heading east from Ronkonkoma to Greenport could be one of the service cuts made if they don't get the funding they need from the federal government. And thousands of MTA employees could be laid off.
LIRR officials say without federal funding, the announcement about cuts could come in the MTA's November board meeting.