MTA plans new discounts on LIRR, Metro-North trips within NYC


The MTA plans to institute new fare discounts on Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North trips that start and end within the five boroughs — and the deal will come online as the agency rolls out its congestion pricing program in Manhattan.

The MTA board on Tuesday is set to approve a 10% discount on monthly tickets for fare zones within the city. The deal would reduce the cost of a monthly LIRR pass between Jamaica and Penn Station from $220 to $198. Monthly Metro-North passes on between Grand Central Terminal and the northern Bronx would drop from $199.75 to $180.

The discounts are pitched as a one-year pilot program. Transit officials plan for them to go into effect July 1, the day after the MTA announced it would launch its congestion pricing tolls.

MTA spokesperson Aaron Donovan said the agency already discounted all monthly commuter railroad tickets by 10% in March 2022, and that the new proposed discounts would be an additional 10% cut for riders.

The MTA also raised fares on the commuter railroads by roughly 4% last year.

MTA officials expect some commuters will switch from cars to mass transit once congestion pricing begins charging a $15 daytime fee to enter Manhattan below 60th Street.

“Getting on board the rails, getting on board subways, getting on buses, getting on express buses is the way to travel. Nobody likes to sit in traffic,” said Lisa Daglian, executive director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA. “New York City has the best transit in the United States. It will save time, it will save money and it will help to save the environment and climate.”

The discounts will be funded through New York state’s Outer Borough Transportation Account, a small transit fund established in 2019 when congestion pricing was signed into law.

Gov. Kathy Hochul and state lawmakers earlier this year tapped more than $20 million from the fund to give new toll discounts to Queens and Bronx drivers on some of the MTA’s bridges.

MTA officials did not provide an estimate as to how much the new fare discounts will cost.

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