LIRR, Metro-North rates jump Wednesday

(Credit: Urbanite)

By Heather Haddon

Attention commuter rail passengers: you’ll have to fork over more money for fares starting Wednesday.

Hundreds of thousands of Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North riders will begin paying an average hike of 10 percent, the first in a series of fare and toll increases across the MTA system. This comes on top of a 4 percent fare increase last year.

“It’s demoralizing. We’re all struggling,” said Chris Hermanek, an accountant who will pay $232, or $21 more, for a monthly pass from Farmingdale to Penn Station.

Vending machines have been programmed to begin selling tickets with the new prices tomorrow, transit officials said. Single ride tickets with the old fare will be valid for six months and 10-trip passes last for a year on both lines. Connecticut Metro-North riders are not affected by the increases.

The hike came as news to some customers Monday.“This happened out of no where,” said Carol McDowell, 55, a daily LIRR rider who works on Broadway. “For the money I have to pay now, I should be (getting) more.”

The LIRR advertised the new fares through station announcements, posters, e-mail alerts and brochures placed on seat trains starting last week, said spokesman Sam Zambuto.

Metro-North circulated brochures about the fare increase for several weeks and hung signs in its 120 stations yesterday morning, said spokesman Dan Brucker.

“Everybody should have gotten the news,” Brucker said.

Subway and bus fares will also increase by an average of 10 percent starting June 28.

The fare and toll increases is expected to generate about $500 million for the MTA a year.

Anastasia Economides contributed to this story.

Tags: metro-north , lirr , rails , transit

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