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LIRR should pay commuters for inconveniences

LIRR commuters await a train at the Ronkonkoma

LIRR commuters await a train at the Ronkonkoma station on Wednesday, April 5, 2017. Credit: James Carbone

Dear LIRR Reimbursement Dept.,

Attached please find my most recent expense report. Please note that the March 24 Uber receipt reflects a somewhat higher rate since demand exceeded supply as the Long Island Rail Road canceled 29 peak trains that evening because of an Amtrak derailment. I am also attaching a receipt for loss of wages for the week of April 3 — allowing for extra travel time required me to leave the office early.

For your reference, copied below is the updated list of Commuter Pain & Suffering Rates. In response to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board’s vote on Jan. 25 to approve its latest fare increases, which took effect March 19, raising my monthly ticket to $297, the Commuter Pain & Suffering Rates have been unanimously approved by all riders of the LIRR, the nation’s largest commuter railroad.

Commuter Pain & Suffering Rates

  • If more than four occurrences of “switch problems” or “signal troubles” disrupt normal rush hour service within one billing cycle, commuters will receive a $10 credit.
  • Canceled and combined trains will result in the following credits: $4 per morning rush hour, $5 per the evening rush hour, $7.50 for any weekday occurrence preceding a holiday weekend.
  • More than five broken rails or derailments over the course of three consecutive billing periods will constitute a refund of one monthly ticket.
  • Last-minute track change announcements will require a “step up/shut up fare” of $1 per incident.
  • Failure to post tracks in a timely fashion will result in a $2 charge for every minute before the scheduled departure time, up to five minutes.

* * *

Similar to the multiple payment options the MTA provides to its customers — Mail & Ride, MTA eTix, EasyPay MetroCard — please note the payment options available to the MTA:

  • KeepingTrack™ app allows conductors to transfer monies immediately into a passenger’s bank account with one easy swipe. For eastbound charges, swipe right; westbound charges, swipe left.
  • EasyPeasyPass™ provides users the freedom to deduct charges directly from their monthly ticket costs, the adjustments to be reflected in the following month’s invoice.
  • Paybacksabitch™ accounts offer commuters the ability to access reimbursement funds from the MTA defined-benefit pension plan and transfer them into their 401(k)s or Roth IRAs.
  • If passengers experience scattered or residual delays in MTA payments, a late charge of 1.6 percent will be applied and credited against the commuter’s monthly invoice.
  • Commuters will continue to cross-honor MTA’s option to deposit funds in riders’ individual PayPal or Venmo accounts.

Please note my invoice this month reflects a balance due of $3,432.11. Kindly have the funds transferred to my PayPaula™ account, as I’ll be putting the money toward a much-needed vacation.

Regards, Paula Ganzi Licata, commuter

P.S. We are LIRR riders. We expect extensive delays and substantial cancellations.

Reader Paula Ganzi Licata lives in Bellmore.

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