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Around the Horn

Freedom Ticket Proposal Revived Amid Looming MTA Fare Hikes

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Well well well, look what's back in the conversation...

 

"The looming MTA fare hike has reignited the push from officials for the Freedom Ticket, a proposal that would bridge bus, subway and commuter rail service within New York City under one fare-payment option.

 

By allowing riders to transfer seamlessly between Metro-North or the Long Island Railroad and the city’s bus and subway system, the idea could drastically cut hours from subway riders’ commute every week, while lowering the number of people packing onto some of its most crowded lines, according to the New York City Transit Riders Council, which introduced the proposal last year."

 

http://www.masstransitmag.com/news/12284467/freedom-ticket-proposal-revived-amid-looming-mta-fare-hikes

 

The looming MTA fare hike has reignited the push from officials for the Freedom Ticket, a proposal that would bridge bus, subway and commuter rail service within New York City under one fare-payment option.

By allowing riders to transfer seamlessly between Metro-North or the Long Island Railroad and the city’s bus and subway system, the idea could drastically cut hours from subway riders’ commute every week, while lowering the number of people packing onto some of its most crowded lines, according to the New York City Transit Riders Council, which introduced the proposal last year.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams’ office said it will be teaming up with Queens Borough President Melinda Katz to once again advocate for the payment option along the LIRR’s Atlantic Branch as the MTA begins hosting eight public hearings around its two fare hike proposals.

Adams said he views the ticket as a cheap option that would improve commutes in transit-starved— but now also quickly developing — areas of his borough, like East New York and Bedford-Stuyvesant. A monthly Freedom Ticket, priced against the current fare rates, would cost $215 — that’s between 28 percent and 36 percent less than the value of combined monthly LIRR and MetroCard costs for riders on the branch.

“We need to ensure we have transit equality for people struggling to make ends meet,” said Adams. “Without the capital funding to get more trains online, this is the best we can do with what we have.”

The Council has already eyed the Atlantic Branch of the LIRR as the first branch to pilot the ticket. It estimates that opening the commuter rail line could shorten intra-city commutes by as much as 40 hours a month—including in areas of southeast Queens, where LIRR stations sit beyond .8 miles from the nearest subway.

“As I have stated before, many of the boroughs have this wonderful rail infrastructure running through them,” said Andrew Albert, who chairs the Council and sits on the MTA board. “But many residents can’t cover the fares to ride them—where to ride them would greatly reduce their travel times to work.”

Albert argues that implementing the card could actually make the MTA money, since it could entice more outer-borough commuters to spring for a $215 Freedom Ticket over a $116.50 monthly MetroCard without overburdening LIRR service.

The MTA, though, is in the midst of weighing two fare hike proposals to implement this March. Either option would increase the monthly MetroCard to $121. The base MetroCard fare could increase to $3.

That prospect has furthered discussion within the MTA for several social fare policies as well, like half-priced MetroCards for low-income New Yorkers.

“Each one of these proposals has merit and challenges not all the same,” said Fredericka Cuenca, MTA’s director of strategic initiatives, at last month’s MTA board meeting. “It’s not always cost; it’s not always operations. But we’re going to be continuing to look at these.”

 

The MTA will host its first public hearing on fare and toll hikes on Monday, December 5, in Queens.

 

http://www.amny.com/transit/freedom-ticket-proposal-revived-amid-looming-mta-fare-hikes-1.12704758

I would definitely buy a $215 Freedom Ticket if it were available, instead of a 30 Day Unlimited.

London's Travelcard on Oyster works in a similar manner.

Edited by Around the Horn

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Well well well, look what's back in the conversation...

 

 

http://www.masstransitmag.com/news/12284467/freedom-ticket-proposal-revived-amid-looming-mta-fare-hikes

 

 

http://www.amny.com/transit/freedom-ticket-proposal-revived-amid-looming-mta-fare-hikes-1.12704758

I would definitely buy a $215 Freedom Ticket if it were available, instead of a 30 Day Unlimited.

London's Travelcard on Oyster works in a similar manner.

 

The monthly is for Zone 3 (eastern Queens) is $218. 

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The monthly is for Zone 3 (eastern Queens) is $218. 

 

Which is great if your destination is ten minutes walking distance from Penn, but otherwise you're SOL and need a Metrocard anyways.

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I cannot wait for the proposed Jamaica<->Atlantic Terminal shuttle train plan to (hopefully) go into effect. It would make my commutes a lot easier.

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I pay about $437 - 494 a month for Metro-North and the express bus. A liberty ticket would cut my costs for sure but the MNRR trains are already packed. The question is where does the extra capacity come from?

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I pay about $437 - 494 a month for Metro-North and the express bus. A liberty ticket would cut my costs for sure but the MNRR trains are already packed. The question is where does the extra capacity come from?

 

If you read the original article the pilot project is proposed for the Atlantic Branch, which currently has no overcrowding to speak of.

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If you read the original article the pilot project is proposed for the Atlantic Branch, which currently has no overcrowding to speak of.

Even so, they want to do this city wide, and I think the (MTA) has a legitimate gripe. Is the city willing to fork over the funds necessary to deal with overcrowding, as well as new train cars? LIRR has enough reliability issues and MNRR has limited sources as well.

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The monthly is for Zone 3 (eastern Queens) is $218. 

 

My (rather obvious) point is that the "Freedom ticket" is proposed to cost $3 less than the existing Zone 3 monthly but offer more, so maybe the Zone 3 monthly should simply become the "Freedom ticket." 

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Like what I said Before the LIRR Should just abolish Zone 3 and put all Queens Stations in Zone 1 with no Peak Tickets. This will allow Eastern Queens riders to ride for $6.25 instead of the current $10.00. For Long Islanders there should be a "overlap zone". All tickets between Jamaica and Long Island will be charged the current Zone 3 Fare while the Eastern Queens Station will be charged the full Zone 1 off peak Fare.The biggest problem right now is that the LIRR is overpriced in Zone 1.

Edited by Mtatransit
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I'm not sure how this would benefit folks from Riverdale though.  We already pay $201.00 for a monthly, plus the cost to get to the station.  What would be beneficial is to have one ticket that could be used on ALL services... Express bus, subway and the local bus.   Residents in Riverdale will use the express bus for the Upper West Side and Upper East Side, since a Metro-North trip would require numerous transfers or backtracking and Metro-North for areas around Grand Central.  

 

I have reached out to these guys in hopes that they will push for this to become a reality, and more importantly to urge them to push for a universal pass that we can buy and use for say Metro-North, the express bus, subway and local bus.  It's absurd to pay so much for Metro-North without any transfer, especially when many of my fellow residents in Riverdale use both the express bus and Metro-North.  

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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That's what Freedom Ticket is.....

 

From the executive summary:

 

Currently the MTA offers a City Ticket, which allows Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and Metro-North Railroad (MNR) riders to travel in the city zone for a lower fare on the weekends. Freedom Ticket would expand that premise and allow customers to use any MTA mode that meets their needs, be it bus, subway, or commuter rail, within a given zone, for a reduced rate. It would reduce city commuter rail fares at all times and provide a transfer between modes.

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That's what Freedom Ticket is.....

 

From the executive summary:

They don't specify express bus though.  They seem to imply free transfers from the LIRR or MNRR to the subway and local bus, but NOT the express bus.  If it includes the express bus, which I noted that it should when writing to my elected officials just now, then it would be great.  MNRR is good if you are going to Grand Central, but for the Upper West or Upper East Side, the express bus is much more useful, since there are no transfers needed.

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I think the idea is that Freedom Ticket would supplant/replace some of these express bus services. 

 

Also, if you're on MNRR and going to the UES, then get off at Harlem-125 and on to the (4)(5)(6), and if you're going to the UWS, then get off at Marble Hill and take the (1)...

 

I don't see the need for Xbus transfers. 

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I think the idea is that Freedom Ticket would supplant/replace some of these express bus services. 

 

Also, if you're on MNRR and going to the UES, then get off at Harlem-125 and on to the (4)(5)(6), and if you're going to the UWS, then get off at Marble Hill and take the (1)...

 

I don't see the need for Xbus transfers. 

I disagree.  For someone in Riverdale, that's THREE transfers easily.  Shuttle bus to MNRR, then the (1) train and then the express perhaps depending on where they are going versus a one bus ride on the BxM2.  That's the benefit of the express bus... Fewer or no transfers... The more transfers you have to make, the more time you eat up and the more likely you are to be delayed.  MNRR isn't all that seamless because if the shuttle bus is delayed OR doesn't come at all, well now you're stuck waiting for the next train or paying extra for an Uber.  Has happened to me a few times.  

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I'm not sure how this would benefit folks from Riverdale though.

 

Shit, stop the presses and scrap the plan!

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Shit, stop the presses and scrap the plan!

The link that was used mentions Riverdale as an example of neighborhoods without subway access, but the plan seems to focus squarely on Southeast Queens and providing those residents with savings.  We'll be paying $208.00 for a monthly Metro-North pass by 2017, so $215.00 doesn't seem like any savings unless of course it includes unlimited transfers for the express bus, local bus and subway.

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The link that was used mentions Riverdale as an example of neighborhoods without subway access, but the plan seems to focus squarely on Southeast Queens and providing those residents with savings.  We'll be paying $208.00 for a monthly Metro-North pass by 2017, so $215.00 doesn't seem like any savings unless of course it includes unlimited transfers for the express bus, local bus and subway.

 

In the pdf, it does mention free transfers to the express bus.

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In the pdf, it does mention free transfers to the express bus.

Yeah I just get the impression that they're really trying to sell this whole LIRR thing.  The express buses will still be needed, as LIRR and MNRR only go but so many places.  I just wonder how the city plans on funding this?  As long as there isn't any underhanded business going on I'm all for it.

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