The discount, which hasn’t been offered since 2021, coincides with...

The discount, which hasn’t been offered since 2021, coincides with the June 30 launch date for the MTA’s congestion pricing plan. Credit: Howard Schnapp

The MTA is bringing back a ticket discount program that aims to encourage Long Islanders to take the train, rather than their cars, when visiting Manhattan during the weekends.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials on Monday announced the return of the “Summer Saturdays” ticket promotion on their two commuter railroads, the LIRR and Metro-North.

Under the program, monthly ticket holders can travel anywhere in their respective railroad’s system on Saturdays in July and August at no additional cost, and bring up to two guests paying $1 per trip.

Introduced in 2018, the program aims to “incentivize taking the train instead of driving,” LIRR President Robert Free said at the monthly meeting of the MTA’s railroad committee.

The program, which hasn’t been offered since 2021, coincides with the June 30 launch date for the MTA’s congestion pricing plan, which will charge most vehicles $15 for driving below 60th Street in Manhattan during peak hours, including 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Although the MTA is hoping the new tolls will encourage use of mass transit, taking the train into the city on weekends could be an expensive proposition for Long Island families. Two adults traveling with two teenage children currently pay $122 for four off-peak, round-trip tickets between Ronkonkoma and Penn Station.

“The upcoming implementation of congestion pricing presents us with an opportunity to attract riders to transit with additional options for travel into the congestion relief zone that are affordable, fast and convenient,” MTA senior adviser Jessica Matthew said at the meeting. 

Newsday Live and nextLI present a conversation with experts on the impact of powerful storms and rising insurance costs on Long Island hosted by NewsdayTV Anchor/Reporter Macy Egeland. The conversation continues on newsday.com/nextli where we invite Long Islanders to share their experiences on this looming crisis of changing weather patterns, flooding, shoreline protection, home buyouts and more to find potential solutions for the region’s future.

Paying the Price: Long Island's stormy future Newsday Live and nextLI present a conversation with experts on the impact of powerful storms and rising insurance costs on Long Island hosted by NewsdayTV Anchor/Reporter Macy Egeland.

Newsday Live and nextLI present a conversation with experts on the impact of powerful storms and rising insurance costs on Long Island hosted by NewsdayTV Anchor/Reporter Macy Egeland. The conversation continues on newsday.com/nextli where we invite Long Islanders to share their experiences on this looming crisis of changing weather patterns, flooding, shoreline protection, home buyouts and more to find potential solutions for the region’s future.

Paying the Price: Long Island's stormy future Newsday Live and nextLI present a conversation with experts on the impact of powerful storms and rising insurance costs on Long Island hosted by NewsdayTV Anchor/Reporter Macy Egeland.

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