Affordable Transit

Let’s Make CityTicket a 24/7 Reality

Today at a New York City Council Transportation Committee budget hearing, one of Move NY’s signature programs was touted by Queens Council Member I. Daneek Miller (District 27) and the NYC DOT:

Currently, the MTA offers CityTicket for discounted weekend travel on the LIRR and Metro North within the five boroughs. It’s a lesser known program that is gathering interest, particularly among elected officials and community groups seeking ways to bring better and more affordable transit options to New Yorkers living in areas underserved by the subway system. The cost of a one-way ticket is $4.25.

Providing this service on weekends is a nice option — even with the MTA’s myriad restrictions –, but there are a whole lot of people who would benefit from CityTicket during weekdays too.

The Move NY Fair Plan extends CityTicket 24/7, with a one-way fare of $6 during peak hours and $4 during off-peak hours.

For example, Council Member Miller’s constituents taking the LIRR at JamaicaHollis, or Queens Village, will see a 40% reduction ($4 difference) from what they now pay during peak hours. For folks living in LIRR’s Zone 1, the fare will be reduced 27% ($2.25 difference). For residents living in Metro North’s Zone 2, their fares will reduced 31% discount ($2.75 difference).

LIRR_EMD_DM30AC_515_pushing_Train_8054In addition to extending CityTicket to weekdays and reducing the fares, the Move NY Fair Plan brings one set of New York City residents back into the fold: Far Rockaway. As the MTA describes on its website, Far Rockaway folks (i.e., Queens residents) are not given the same CityTicket discount as others who call Queens home, because they happened to live at the end of a line whose “trips travel through Nassau county.” That a large number of residents are financially penalized for how a railway track was designed made little sense to Move NY coalition partners. So for the first time in recent history, the Far Rockaway Station, under the Move NY plan, is treated as a New York City station, equalizing the paying field by enabling these City residents to receive CityTicket discounts.

Council Member Donovan Richards, representing Far Rockaway, was an early supporter of the Move NY Fair Plan. At the October 2015 Progressive Caucus announcement endorsing Move NY in October 2015, he noted:

“Any New Yorker who relies on mass transportation on a daily basis can see how badly we need to upgrade and improve our subways, buses and roads,” said Council Member Donovan Richards, co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. “The Move NY plan will help give us the necessary funding to ensure that the MTA can, not only bring our transportation infrastructure up to par, but it will also help turn it into the more efficient and reliable system that we truly deserve in New York City.”

Council Member Miller is a member of the Progressive Caucus but has spoken out against the Move NY Fair Plan.

 

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