State Sen. Phillips aims to derail MTA fare hike

<p>State Sen. Elaine Phillips wants the MTA to pull the brakes on next year's planned 4 percent fare hike, the seventh increase in the last decade.</p>

News 12 Staff

Aug 22, 2018, 11:25 PM

Updated 2,105 days ago

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State Sen. Elaine Phillips wants the MTA to pull the brakes on next year's planned 4 percent fare hike, the seventh increase in the last decade.
She wrote a letter asking the Long Island Rail Road to "step up its game" before turning to "already overburdened fare payers for revenue."
"We've had the worst service record in the history of the Long Island Rail Road, and they announce they are going to have a fare increase," Phillips says. "That's not the way it works."
In her letter, she referenced the state comptroller's audit of the railroad, which identified more than 2,000 trains that were delayed 15 minutes or more between December and January.
"There is actual data saying the performance has been abysmal, and you can't put the burden on commuters' backs," Phillips says.
Just this month, commuters saw several service disruptions from signal problems and inclement weather.
And even when things are running smoothly, overcrowding is often an issue.
"There is no reason for it to be so crowded, especially (when) you are paying $300 a month," says Howard Brooks, who commutes to work on the train from Jericho. "Everyone should be entitled to a seat."
An LIRR spokesperson released a statement to News 12 pointing to ongoing repair and improvement work.
"New LIRR President Phil Eng is aggressively forging ahead with the LIRR Forward program, tackling our most problematic areas and making sure that improvements can be seen and felt as quickly as possible," the statement reads.
The LIRR says it's pushing a multibillion-dollar modernization effort that includes the LIRR Expansion Project from Floral Park to Hicksville and the second track between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma.
A spokeswoman also says the MTA is also working on infrastructure projects that should help improve reliability and timeliness.


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