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MTA to hold 8 hearings on fare, toll hikes

After two federal mediation panels have failed to

After two federal mediation panels have failed to bring about a labor contract, it's anyone's guess whether a strike will shut down the Long Island Rail Road in late July. So commuters just might want to flip a coin about buying monthly passes.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has already started sending out about 31,000 Mail & Ride tickets to passengers who have signed up for automatic renewals. A monthly ticket can cost upward of $300, so if you don't want to risk laying out the money upfront, return the mailer unopened.

If you decide to keep the pass and the LIRR unions strike -- which could happen anytime after July 19 -- the MTA says it probably would make a refund at a later date. But if there is a strike, dealing with MTA paperwork will be the least of your problems. Credit: Newsday / Danielle Finkelstein

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will hold eight public hearings on the agency's proposals to increase train, subway and bus fares, and bridge and tunnel tolls. One hearing will be held on Long Island.

All hearings are to start at 5 p.m. and last until 9 p.m. or whenever the last person has spoken. Those who want to speak at the hearing must register either by calling 718-521-3333 in advance or at the hearings between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.

The hearing schedule is:

Nov. 7

-- Brooklyn Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge, 333 Adams St., Brooklyn

-- Farmingdale State College, Roosevelt Hall, Little Theater, 2350 Broadhollow Rd., Farmingdale, Long Island

-- Hostos Community College, Center for the Arts and Culture, 450 Grand Concourse, Bronx

-- Baruch College Performing Arts Center, Mason Hall, 17 Lexington Ave. at 23rd Street, Manhattan

Nov. 14

-- Hilton Garden Inn Newburgh/Stewart Airport, Vanderbilt/Astor Rooms, 15 Crossroads Ct., Newburgh, Orange County

-- College of Staten Island, Center for the Arts, Springer Concert Hall, 2800 Victory Blvd., Staten Island

Nov. 15

-- Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel, 135-20 39th Ave., Flushing, Queens

-- Yonkers Public Library, Riverfront Library Auditorium, One Larkin Center, Yonkers, Westchester County.

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