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MTA announces new discount program to encourage Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North riders

Joelle Schrock
WSHU Public Radio

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will pilot a new fare program at the end of February to encourage New Yorkers to get back on public transportation. This comes after a sharp decline in ridership on Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North trains due to the pandemic.

MTA CEO Janno Lieber said it’s no secret the MTA has had serious financial challenges since the pandemic began. She said the MTA has made it a priority to get creative on fares, and the agency is committed to providing a range of new discounts.

The focal point of the new program are automatically applied free unlimited rides after 12 taps on OMNY, the state’s contactless fare payment system. This means OMNY customers would pay no more than $33 per week to ride the New York City subway, which is the price of a seven-day unlimited ride MetroCard. Currently, only MetroCards offer the option of unlimited rides but these will be gone by 2023.

The program will begin February 28 for New York City Transit, and February 25 for commuter rail tickets — it will last for four months.

The discounts include:

  • A new 20-trip ticket offering 20% off the comparable 20 peak one-way fares when purchased through MTA.
  • Monthly tickets, which are currently discounted between 48% and 61% of the price of a comparable number of one-way peak tickets, will be discounted by an additional 10%.
  • CityTicket, which offers a reduced, flat fare on rail travel within New York City on weekends, will be extended to all weekday off-peak trains at a fare of $5.
  • The new offer is a $2.25 or 31% discount from Metro-North’s current weekday fare between the Bronx and Manhattan, which is $7.25. 
  • This new offer translates to a $2.75, or 35% discount from the LIRR’s current weekday fare between eastern Queens and Manhattan or Brooklyn, which is $7.75.
Clare is a former news fellow with WSHU Public Radio.