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Just Sayin': LIRR needs to collect fares better

A LIRR conductor collects tickets on an eastbound

A LIRR conductor collects tickets on an eastbound train on the Babylon branch. Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa Loarca

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority should first look to improve its fare-collection methodology on the Long Island Rail Road before looking to issue an increase.

For the past several months, after using the Ronkonkoma and Port Jefferson lines into the Penn and Atlantic terminals, I see it’s losing revenue because conductors cannot collect all the train fares. The worst case is between the Atlantic terminal and Jamaica Station during rush hour. In a full train with standing room only, a conductor cannot effectively move within the train and check every passenger’s ticket.

I’ve also noticed on the double-decker cars that it’s easy for conductors to miss passengers moving between cars and especially those using a restroom. Although conductors can recognize regular commuters, all too often it is easy to overlook transient riders on full trains.

It’s unfair to continue increasing fares for regular commuters because the LIRR’s collection methodology is inefficient and obsolete.

Robert Caton, St. James

  

I’ve commuted for many years into Penn Station, and often have needed to use the subway and LIRR elevators. Possibly in the next several years East Side Access might finally open, and if it does it will have some very expensive new elevators. At Penn already, most if not all elevators are used nearly nonstop by junkies and the homeless as urinals. It’s so bad that you have to watch carefully where you step, and sometimes the smell is so horrible that no matter how hard, you have to take the stairs — unless you can’t physically do that.

What will the New York City Transit Authority and the Long Island Rail Road — and MTA Police do about this? Most of Penn is overrun by the homeless, in the bathrooms and fast-food locations. A couple weeks ago, I tried to have a quick meal in the Amtrak area food court and I couldn’t find anywhere to sit that didn’t already have beggars and others all over you. Penn is pretty awful and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s plans have only made it worse, but this often makes it unbearable. And when I go to Grand Central, it’s no better.

Ron Troy, East Northport  

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