LIRR riders say no justification for fare hikes

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THE COURIER/Photo by Cristabelle Tumola
THE COURIER/Photo by Cristabelle Tumola

On March 1, LIRR ticket prices went up an average of 8.2 to 9.3 percent.

MetroCard holders are not the only ones pinching pennies now that fare hikes are in effect.

Starting on Friday, March 1, monthly, one-way, round-trip and 10-trip tickets all went up an average of 8.2 to 9.3 percent for Long Island Rail Road riders.

On the first full work week of higher fares, LIRR commuters in Queens questioned why they are paying more to ride, but are not receiving better service.

“I don’t know how [the LIRR] can justify constantly increasing prices,” said Kevin Gilmartin, a New Jersey resident who has been regularly taking the train from Penn Station to Queens to do millwork projects in the borough for around five years.

Gilmartin knows that taking the train is cheaper than driving, but said with ridership up, the MTA should be lowering prices, not increasing them.

For Nina Rahn, a Bayside resident who commutes to her retail job in Manhattan about four times a week, the fare hike adds up to around $50 more per month.

“I didn’t get a raise at work, so it’s like paying another bill,” said Rahn.

She is also shelling out more cash to ride the bus to and from the train station since MetroCard fares also recently increased.

Agreeing with Gilmartin, Rahn said that if she’s paying more, she wants to see improvements, such as extra trains or fewer signal problems, but those things likely won’t happen.

“Where does the money go?” she said.