News Flash

Quality of Life

Posted on: March 7, 2019

Supervisor Romaine, State and Local Officials Rally to Protest MTA Fare Hike

Brookhaven, East End Residents Being Asked to Pay More for Less Service

Farmingville, NY – Recently, Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine (center) was joined by (left to right) Suffolk County Legislator Rudy Sunderman; NY State Senator Monica Martinez, Suffolk County Comptroller John Kennedy, Assemblymen Doug Smith, Assemblyman Joe DeStefano and Robert Martinez representing Legislator Tom Muratore in calling on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to scale back their fare increases during a press conference today at the LIRR Ronkonkoma train station.

The MTA board voted on February 26 to increase fares on all railroads, subways, buses and toll crossings. Long Island Railroad commuters will see an increase of more than 3.8 percent, or $299 per year more for commuters using weekly tickets.

“This unfair hike on our residents hurts the lowest wage earners the most, stifles economic development and is a disincentive for use of mass transit that benefits our environment,” said Supervisor Romaine. “With the MTA failing to extend electrification into most of Brookhaven and points east, our residents are being asked to pay more while receiving less. The MTA needs to sharpen their pencils and go back to the drawing board to prevent this fare hike.”

NY State Senator Monica Martinez said, "MTA's structural deficit and management inefficiencies should not be a cost burden to Long Island commuters. It's simply outrageous that after so many attempts and years of dealing with structural deficits that the MTA has not been able to find more efficient ways to deliver their services. We are ready to legislate whatever reforms are necessary to make sure they don't keep balancing their budgets on the backs of the hardworking Long Island commuters."

Assemblymen Doug Smith said, “LIRR riders who I represent that work in the city, pay a NYC income tax and an already steep price to take the train to work. They cannot afford an additional rate hike of $299 a year. I would like to thank my colleagues in state and local government for joining in one unified voice to call on the MTA roll back this egregious rate hike.”

Assemblyman Joe DeStefano said, “Many of our residents rely heavily on the MTA to get to work every day, and it is unfair to raise fares for a service that experiences so many operational deficiencies. New York remains one of the most expensive places to live, and these costs are merely a short-term Band-Aid for the MTA that will further strain our city’s most economically challenged. I urge the MTA Board to reconsider its decision and look into other alternatives that will not affect their most loyal consumers.”

Suffolk County Comptroller John Kennedy said, “Suffolk County residents paid almost $70 million in 2018 to the MTA just in mortgage tax and payroll fees. Enough is enough! The MTA needs to put its own house in order, roll back the fee increase and stop treating riders like walking ATMs.”

Suffolk County Legislator Rudy Sunderman said, “The Long Island Railroad rate hike is unfair to the hardworking men and women of Suffolk County. People rely on the Long Island Railroad to go to and from work and for public transportation. With so many people struggling to make ends meet, this rate increase is only going to make it harder to live and work in our area. I urge the MTA to reconsider.”

Mr. Martinez said, “Suffolk and Nassau County taxpayers and those who utilize LIRR/MTA services are being pummeled again. They must again dig deeper into their pockets and pay another fee/fare increase just to receive basic services. It is no wonder so many hard-working New York residents and their families are leaving the state in record numbers.”

Division of Public Information * Office of the Supervisor
One Independence Hill • Farmingville • NY 11738 • Phone 631-451-6595

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