21 Aug 2014
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New LIRR Fees and Policies Rile Commuters

Better use that ticket in your wallet while it's still worth something.

New LIRR Fees and Policies Rile Commuters

A group representing LIRR commuters wants to punch a hole in some MTA policies that have been costing many riders more.

The Long Island Rail Road Commuter Council is asking the agency to overturn the $10 fee for returning tickets—even those worth less than the return fee. The policy was set in December of 2010. One-way tickets that that used to be usable for up to six months, are now only usable for two weeks. 

And what was once meant to be a discount for occasional riders purchasing 10 trip at once, can now be used only over a six-month period, down from a full year.

“We find that these new policies have caused inconvenience, confusion, financial hardship, and frustration for LIRR riders,” wrote LIRRCC Chair Mark Epstein, in a letter to MTA Board members.  “Riders are now reluctant to purchase tickets for future trips due to the risk of being left with a worthless ticket or being forced to pay a refund processing fee,” he added.

The LIRRCC says the reaction to the new policies have been “overwhelmingly negative,” among riders, and that the financial impact hits occasional riders, and those who have other transportation options the hardest.

“It's ridiculous and clearly a way to get more money out of commuters,” said Rob Trimarco, who takes the train from Bayside every day.

“It's not even veiled behind any complicated process or jargon,” he added, saying. “It's really just a slap in the face of commuters.”

Trimarco also said he can’t wait to be able to fully telecommute for his job.

“This is not the way to build a new customer base,” said Epstein.

The MTA said it would "review the Commuter Council's proposal." 

Updated on Nov. 17, at 11:07a.m.

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