A view from Long Island expatriate Matt Walker's balcony in Soriano...

A view from Long Island expatriate Matt Walker's balcony in Soriano nel Cimino, Italy, where he tries to recreate an LI Thanksgiving. Credit: Zeneba Bowers

How to deal with LIRR fare beaters

The recent surge in Long Island Rail Road riders who fail to pay for tickets after receiving an invoice is a disgrace [“Unpaid LIRR trips surge past 100,000, cost $1.4M,” News, Nov. 19].

If a person rides the railroad and does not have the money for a ride, the rider should provide some kind of identification, give it to the conductor, and it should be submitted to management after his shift. A bill should be sent to the person’s home, and if it is not paid within 30 days, the offender should be summoned to court. It should be treated like a traffic ticket.

This is a crime. It is a misdemeanor called “theft of service,” and the guilty party should be brought to justice. Stories like this are not fair to riders who do the right thing. I rode the LIRR for 30 years to Manhattan and always did the right thing. So should they.

— George T. DeSpirito, Williston Park

How can the Metropolitan Transportation Authority continue to raise fares when fare evasion is up? It seems that to make up for their shortfall, it’s raising fares for those who do pay. Congestion pricing will charge drivers for driving into Manhattan to also help make up for the shortfall.

If you want to see a system failing, don’t look any further than New York City Transit. Fare evasion will not be stopped with hope and prayers but on the ground with action.

We once had plainclothes summons teams, sweeps, and Transit Adjudication Bureau summonses. What does a summons do? A 16-year-old may not be concerned at first, but when he applies for a job as an adult, firms will check him out and may tell him that until his summonses are cleared, he can’t be offered a job. Pay me now or pay me later, eventually the Transit Authority will get its money.

Fare beaters know nothing will happen to them, so why pay? Instead of charging higher fares to those who do the right thing, fix the laws and make it right.

— Larry Lombardo, Lynbrook

The writer is a retired New York City transit police sergeant.

I can’t believe the gyrations that the MTA bureaucrats are going through trying to figure out how to deal with fare beaters. The answer is simple: Either you pay your fare or get ejected from the train at the next station!

Once everyone sees this being done, the perpetrators and everyone else riding the train will realize that there is no free lunch.

— Ed Patterson, Holbrook

Never mind unpaid tickets costing the MTA millions. How about conductors not collecting tickets? I bought a ticket at Penn Station and when I got off in Massapequa, I still had my ticket. Not the first time this has happened. I get another free ride home.

— Judy Riccuiti, Farmingdale

Migrants shouldn’t be picky about housing

Some migrants have complained about the location of housing at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn [“Some migrants reject temporary shelter,” News, Nov. 14]. New York City is not paying to house you at a five-star hotel. You get what you get, and if you are unhappy with the Floyd Bennett location, here’s a simple solution: Go home.

— Steve Bailey, Freeport

Gratitude for knowing the Carters’ bond

I was sad that we lost a great woman who fought for the underserved, mentally ill and aged [“Former first lady, was health activist,” News, Nov. 20].

The relationship between Rosalynn Carter and former President Jimmy Carter was amazing. They worked well together and gave their all to our nation.

What most people long for is what they had — a lifelong, loving, sharing partnership. I feel I have that with my husband, too. We may not be the head of a country, but we care and share in our daily lives.

If people would just be kind to each other and those around them, we would all be a lot happier. Thank heaven we got to know the Carters.

— Diane M. Konoski, East Setauket

An article noted three first ladies considered as the most influential [“Rosalynn Carter, 96, in hospice care at home,” News, Nov. 18]. Betty Ford is not named, but I am confident that her honesty, determination and humanity saved and improved the lives of thousands. Ford deserves to be included on any list of this kind.

— Marshall Zucker, Wantagh

A base commander’s generosity recalled

I admire how industrious Matt Walker was in adapting the local ingredients for an Italian Thanksgiving [“Making an old-time LI Thanksgiving in Italy,” Opinion, Nov. 19].

As a medical student at the University of Catania, Sicily, in the 1980s, I faced the same situation. My solution was a bit different.

There is a Strategic Naval Air Force Base in Sigonella, Sicily. I wrote to the base commander, explaining the situation. He graciously contacted me and allowed me to use the commissary for one day with an official escort.

I was able to obtain all the necessary ingredients and hosted a dinner that impressed my Italian colleagues. Each year, I recall the commander’s generosity.

It is difficult to imagine that this would be permitted in 2023.

— Joseph Tromba, Garden City

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