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Congressmen Mike Lawler and Pat Ryan Demand MTA Extend Fare Discounts to All Metro-North and LIRR Riders Amidst Congestion Pricing Controversy

Yesterday, ahead of a planned vote by the MTA board on discounts for Metro-North and LIRR riders within the 5 boroughs, Congressmen Pat Ryan and Mike Lawler demanded the MTA extend these discounts to all Metro-North and LIRR riders.

Last month, the MTA approved a much maligned congestion pricing “plan” which will charge Hudson Valley families $15 per day to commute to Manhattan Central Business District, without committing to service improvements or carve outs for commuting city employees. The 10% discount on monthly tickets being voted on today only applies to fare zones within New York City. Congressmen Lawler and Ryan, who led the letter to MTA CEO Janno Lieber, were joined in the call by Congressman Anthony D’Esposito (R-NY) and Congressman Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ).

“Hudson Valley families are struggling under the weight of a crushing affordability crisis and cannot afford the thousands in new tolls a year that it would cost the average Rockland County resident just to commute to New York City for work,” said Congressman Lawler. “For the MTA to now discount the rate just for residents of the five boroughs is a slap in the face to Hudson Valley families. With no improvement in service for our communities and still no one-seat ride for Rockland County commuters, it is yet another example of how congestion pricing is nothing more than a massive cash grab to the MTA and NYC at their expense. That’s why I’m joining Congressman Ryan and colleagues from both parties to demand the MTA offer the same discounts to all MTA riders that they’re currently only carving out for New York City residents, while also committing to infrastructure upgrades across our communities. Hudson Valley residents deserve nothing less.”

“First the MTA forced through an unfair, uninformed, and unacceptable congestion pricing plan, ignoring the voices of countless Hudson Valley firefighters, police officers, union members, teachers and other hard-working families. Now they’re adding insult to injury,” said Congressman Ryan. “This is yet another example of Hudson Valley residents paying their hard-earned tax dollars to the MTA, only to watch all the benefits go to New York City. That’s why we’re demanding they extend these discounts to all MTA riders, and commit to substantive infrastructure upgrades in the Hudson Valley.”

Lawler and Ryan’s letter to MTA CEO Janno Lieber was signed by Congressman Anthony D’Esposito (R-NY) and Congressman Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ).

“The MTA is once again picking favorites and granting fare relief to New York City residents while leaving Long Islanders out to dry, which is why I join my colleagues from both sides of the aisle in denouncing this unfair practice and calling on the MTA to extend the same fare reductions to LIRR and Metro North transit riders,” said Congressman Anthony D’Esposito.

Today, the MTA board will vote on new fare discounts on Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North trips that start and end within the five boroughs. The discounts 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. These discounts, which are pitched as a one-year pilot program, do not include riders from Congressman Ryan or Congressman Lawler’s district.

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