The transportation sector is the largest source of climate pollution in New York, representing 34-percent of the state’s greenhouse gas portfolio. Air pollution emitted from tailpipes is a major contributor to smog and poor air quality, which is a direct threat to the health and welfare of New Yorkers.
Enhancing access to public transportation systems that are safe, reliable, and robust is critical if New York is to make progress at reducing transportation pollution. Public transit in the New York City metropolitan region is in a state of crisis. While lawmakers took a significant step towards addressing the crisis by authorizing congestion pricing and establishing a dedicated funding stream for the modernization of transit systems run by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), there are additional measures that can be implemented to provide New Yorkers with immediate relief.
Equalizing fares for travel on commuter rail lines operated by the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North within the New York City limits will expand access to public transit in 31 neighborhoods in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens served by 38 commuter rail stations. Making fares equal to a MetroCard ride and affording the option for free transfers between commuter trains, subways, and buses will remove a significant cost barrier for approximately 1.4 million New York City residents, there-by making public transit a more viable and cost-effective alternative to driving.
This bill amends the Public Authorities Law to require the MTA to allow riders traveling within the limits of New York City to pay fares equal to that of a MetroCard fare when utilizing commuter rail service.