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Bill requires MTA to hold Long Island hearings on rate hikes

The Oakdale station of the Long Island Rail

The Oakdale station of the Long Island Rail Road is at Montauk Highway and Oakdale-Bohemia Road. (April 9, 2013) Credit: Brittany Wait

The State Senate Wednesday passed a bill to require the MTA to hold hearings in Nassau and Suffolk counties before adopting any future fare or toll hikes or major service changes.

The bill sponsored by state Sen. Charles Fuschillo (R-Merrick) calls on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to hold hearings in each county in which a fare or toll increase or major service change is proposed.

The MTA did not hold a hearing in Suffolk before adopting last year a fare increase, including on the Long Island Rail Road. It did hold such a hearing in Nassau. Next year, the MTA will consider another fare hike, which would take effect in 2015.

“Requiring the MTA to hold public hearings in each county affected by the proposed changes would give the public additional opportunities to voice their opinions,” said Fuschillo, who chairs the Senate Transportation Committee.

The LIRR Commuter Council supported the bill, saying that it is “vitally important” for all railroad riders to be able to express themselves, and for MTA board members to hear them out.

 

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