"Fares, compared" [News, Feb. 28] was a shocking revelation about what the Metropolitan Transportation Authority does to its Long Island Rail Road commuters, and subway and bus riders: 300 percent and 400 percent increases, respectively, since 1980.

With some of the highest school and property taxes in the nation, gas prices always at the high end because it supposedly costs more to bring fuel to Long Island, and prices on all foods going up, it's getting impossible to live here. Jobs leaving here doesn't help.

Any increases in pay are eaten up by everything mentioned above.

I agree that MTA should do more internal audits on its waste and corruption. It's only cheaper to use public transportation because tunnel tolls have been raised 1,400 percent since 1980.

Ed McCormack, Merrick

The fare hikes are out of line. The MTA must start making its employees pay for transportation as well. Although I don't know what the numbers would be, I'm sure it would offset the need to raise the fares to the extent they are now.

Sure, these are tough times, and unions fight for their members, but concessions must be made. All this, while as many as 1,500 LIRR employees may have scammed the system with phony disability claims and 15 LIRR employees stand accused of running a scrap metal scam.

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It's time for the LIRR and MTA to look within their own circle and not to the commuter, who has paid enough already.

Edward Naab, North Patchogue

MTA services are still among the best bargains in town ["A few sweeteners in new MTA fares," News, March 3].

The MetroCard affords a free transfer between bus and subway. Before this, riders had to pay two full fares. Purchasing a weekly or monthly pass further reduces the cost per ride. Many employers offer transit checks, which pay even more of one's costs.

Like it or not, fare hikes in 2013, and projected in 2015, are probably justified if the MTA is to provide the services for millions of New Yorkers daily. Fare hikes are inevitable due to rising costs of labor, power, fuel, supplies, materials, routine safety, maintenance, replacement of worn-out trains and upgrades to stations, yards and shops. Expansion projects are also necessary to run any transit system.

In the end, quality and frequency of service depend on secure revenue streams. We all will have to contribute, either at the fare box or through tax revenues generated by different levels of government and redistributed back to the MTA.

Larry Penner, Great Neck