MTA says planned LIRR fare hike has been postponed
A planned fare hike for the Long Island Rail Road has been postponed by the MTA for several months.
MTA CEO Patrick Foye said in a statement that after eight public hearings and more than 2,000 public comments, "...What we heard at these hearings was that people are suffering and cannot shoulder even a modest fare increase right now."
LIRR Commuter Council Chairman Gerry Bringmann says while this may have been a tough decision for the agency, it was the right one, especially with ridership down such a steep level.
"From a business standpoint, you want to try and encourage ridership back and you're not going to do that with a fare increase, that runs contrary to what you are trying to do," says Bringmann.
The transit agency is facing a multibillion-dollar deficit because of mass ridership and revenue losses during the pandemic.
MTA officials say they will move forward with discussion and a vote on toll increases for bridges and tunnels in February. They say with President-elect Joe Biden taking office Wednesday, they're are hoping for $8 billion in additional aid from the federal government.