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Letters: Long Island Rail Road shares blame for unpaid fares

Newsday readers respond to topics covered.

Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

Why is the Long Island Rail Road losing millions of dollars in unpaid fares [“$20 million loss in unpaid fares,” News, Dec. 4]?

Conductors don’t attempt to check tickets on overcrowded trains and on extremely late trains, which occur daily. They don’t remember the faces of people who have already presented tickets. If a scammer doesn’t make eye contact, conductors seem to walk by without asking. Some people hide in the bathrooms and avoid paying. There are two kids who do it on my afternoon train Monday through Friday. There has to be a better way.

Christine Gietschier, Westbury

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s report about money lost to unpaid fares is an obvious political ploy to pivot blame away from the agency and to scapegoat the commuter. Is $20 million in lost revenue a problem? Yes. Is it a commuter problem? No.

In my experience on the Long Island Rail Road, fares go unpaid because of overcrowded trains or no conductor checking tickets.

Do commuters cause overcrowded trains? Of course not. They often happen during inclement weather or because of old and unreliable signals and trains. We end up with fewer trains and fewer cars, and there isn’t enough personnel to squeeze through crowds to verify every ticket.

If the MTA wants us to pay higher fares without a viable plan of action, then I say no. A few fare evaders aren’t the cause of your problems. You need to accept responsibility, ask for help, and get a plan in place to make things better.

Joel Delrosario, East Meadow

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