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Via Garibaldi 8

MTA subway and LIRR Freedom Ticket is coming in 2018: Lhota

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MTA subway and LIRR Freedom Ticket is coming in 2018: Lhota

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The long-awaited "Freedom Ticket" -- a cross-honored pass between all MTA services -- will finally arrive in 2018, according to MTA chairman Joseph Lhota. (Credit: Charles Eckert)

TRANSIT

MTA subway and LIRR Freedom Ticket is coming in 2018: Lhota

By Vincent Barone   vin.barone@amny.com January 25, 2018

MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota expects to launch a pilot program this year that would bridge bus, subway and Long Island Rail Road service within New York City under one ticket.

The idea behind the transit pass, known as the Freedom Ticket, is to allow riders to transfer seamlessly between the Long Island Railroad and the city’s bus and subway system to cut commute times while also tapping into underutilized, more expensive LIRR service.

“I fully expect it to happen this year,” Lhota told state lawmakers in Albany while testifying on the MTA’s budget Thursday, regarding the pilot. “When I say this year don’t think about it as the end of the year. It can happen relatively soon.”

Lhota said the agency was “very, very close” to starting the pilot, which is now months behind schedule. The program was supposed to launch this past fall, according to MTA board members and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. But it was put on the back burner so that the agency could prepare for Amtrak renewal work at Penn Station and craft Lhota’s Subway Action Plan to improve service, sources familiar with the pilot said.

As they described it last year, the Freedom Ticket test will be implemented at certain LIRR stations, mostly along the Atlantic Branch, including Brooklyn’s Atlantic Terminal, East New York and Nostrand Avenue stations, as well as Queens’ Laurelton, Locust Manor, Rosedale and St. Albans stations.

Under the pilot, riders will be able to buy one-way tickets, weekly or monthly passes valid for both subway and LIRR trains. Fares will be more expensive than MetroCard rates, but likely significantly cheaper than the cost of purchasing both an LIRR ticket and MetroCard.

Lhota said he needed “one more piece of clearance” before the pilot could go further, but he did not elaborate on what that “piece” was. His office did not immediately respond to a request for clarification.

The chairman also noted that it was important to launch the new fare option on a limited test as opposed to a system-wide unveiling.

“It’s very important to be able to do [a pilot] to understand how habits change; how many people use it; how do we adjust it accordingly before anything is rolled out larger,” he said.

Source: https://www.amny.com/transit/mta-lirr-subway-1.16352958

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What's stopping people from North Valley Stream and Elmont from driving into Rosedale to get the Freedom Ticket?

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4 minutes ago, NY1635 said:

What's stopping people from North Valley Stream and Elmont from driving into Rosedale to get the Freedom Ticket?

Nothing as far as I know, but that's the whole point... To see how people's commuting habits change.

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30 minutes ago, NY1635 said:

What's stopping people from North Valley Stream and Elmont from driving into Rosedale to get the Freedom Ticket?

Parking, probably?

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The LIRR did a study internally and determined that few ppl would cross the line for cheaper fares. So probably parking as BTP said, laziness, and a want not to walk/drive/bus further than they have to. 

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2 hours ago, RR503 said:

The LIRR did a study internally and determined that few ppl would cross the line for cheaper fares. So probably parking as BTP said, laziness, and a want not to walk/drive/bus further than they have to. 

They can also get an idea of how much this is done by looking at the CityTicket program.

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I wonder if Queens Village will be in the pilot. Also, will they try to restrict the metrocard portion to NYCT only and make it invalid for NICE/Beeline?

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On 1/27/2018 at 3:46 PM, N6 Limited said:

I wonder if Queens Village will be in the pilot. Also, will they try to restrict the metrocard portion to NYCT only and make it invalid for NICE/Beeline?

Sadly, no -- just SE Queens and Atlantic Branch Stations. 

That said, if the pilot is successful, the program will be expanded in phases to all LIRR Queens Stations, and then to MNR in the BX. 

Edited by RR503
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13 minutes ago, RR503 said:

Sadly, no -- just SE Queens and Atlantic Branch Stations. 

That said, if the pilot is successful, the program will be expanded in phases to all LIRR Queens Stations, and then to MNR in the BX. 

A welcomed option for the BX Especially when the Penn Access happens for Co-Op City , Parkchester ect.

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3 hours ago, RR503 said:

Sadly, no -- just SE Queens and Atlantic Branch Stations. 

That said, if the pilot is successful, the program will be expanded in phases to all LIRR Queens Stations, and then to MNR in the BX. 

Oh in the study documentation they showed Hollis and Queens Village in the "Southeast Queens" area so I was wondering.http://www.pcac.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Freedom-Ticket-reduced.pdf (starting at page 13).

Also is a Hybrid LIRR and MNR Freedom ticket in the works? (For Example, someone who commutes from Jamaica to Fordham or something)

 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, N6 Limited said:

Oh in the study documentation they showed Hollis and Queens Village in the "Southeast Queens" area so I was wondering.http://www.pcac.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Freedom-Ticket-reduced.pdf (starting at page 13).

Also is a Hybrid LIRR and MNR Freedom ticket in the works? (For Example, someone who commutes from Jamaica to Fordham or something)

 

 

 

Yes, the study you cite has those 2 stations in SE Queens, but that doesn't mean the MTA will use them in the pilot.

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I can't see $6.50 one way / $215 monthly resulting in a huge increase of passengers (chart on page 9 of document at http://www.pcac.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Freedom-Ticket-reduced.pdf).  They can barely afford the $2.75 as it is.  Even paying $3.00 or $3.25 would be a huge struggle for most riders, never mind $6.50.  The people who can afford it, already use the LIRR or express bus.  Sadly, I think this pilot program will be a colossal failure.

On page 8 of the document , they hint when ESA (East Side Access) is complete, they'll run more frequent service and at a subway fare.  Now THAT is what will increase the passenger count.

Edited by RtrainBlues

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13 hours ago, RtrainBlues said:

I can't see $6.50 one way / $215 monthly resulting in a huge increase of passengers (chart on page 9 of document at http://www.pcac.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Freedom-Ticket-reduced.pdf).  They can barely afford the $2.75 as it is.  Even paying $3.00 or $3.25 would be a huge struggle for most riders, never mind $6.50.  The people who can afford it, already use the LIRR or express bus.  Sadly, I think this pilot program will be a colossal failure.

On page 8 of the document , they hint when ESA (East Side Access) is complete, they'll run more frequent service and at a subway fare.  Now THAT is what will increase the passenger count.

People can afford the $2.75 or $3.00, they just don't have the common sense to purchase a MetroCard before entering the system. I've seen many people board the bus and then whip out singles and ask the passengers for change whenever I ride the n40/41 or n35 out in Nassau. I've also seen people standing right by the turnstile in either Manhattan or Jamaica  at the(F) begging other people for a swipe to enter the subway. The only thing preventing commuters from pulling the same trick on the LIRR is the fact that conductors on the railroads have less tolerance for fare beating and begging than the bus operators in the MTA.

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9 minutes ago, NY1635 said:

People can afford the $2.75 or $3.00, they just don't have the common sense to purchase a MetroCard before entering the system. I've seen many people board the bus and then whip out singles and ask the passengers for change whenever I ride the n40/41 or n35 out in Nassau. I've also seen people standing right by the turnstile in either Manhattan or Jamaica  at the(F) begging other people for a swipe to enter the subway. The only thing preventing commuters from pulling the same trick on the LIRR is the fact that conductors on the railroads have less tolerance for fare beating and begging than the bus operators in the MTA.

I'm actually amazed at how many people buy single rides and the like. I tend to refill at non-busy times and at select stations to avoid any BS with beggars or problems with the machines, but if you need to refill a lot, you'll see what you described. Those people likely either don't pay regularly or can't afford the fare. I get the occasional person asking me to swipe and I just look at them like they're crazy. I don't swipe for anyone unless they're paying me. Once this lady on the BxM4 had no Metrocard and was desperate and I had no change, so I took her $10.00, dipped my pass for her and continued on with my trip. :D

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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The easiest thing to do would be to unify the pricing of intra-City LIRR/MNRR monthly tickets and expand their privileges to include the subway and bus system. 

 

The current monthly rates are as follows: 

LIRR: Zone 1 $190, Zone 3 $226

MNRR: 125th Street $180, Bronx $208

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20 hours ago, Gotham Bus Co. said:

The easiest thing to do would be to unify the pricing of intra-City LIRR/MNRR monthly tickets and expand their privileges to include the subway and bus system. 

 

The current monthly rates are as follows: 

LIRR: Zone 1 $190, Zone 3 $226

MNRR: Zone 1 - 125th Street $180, Zone 2 $208

But that's exactly what would be done... <_< For example, someone in Southeast Queens would pay something like $215 for the Freedom ticket.  I believe that would give them access to the LIRR, local buses and the subways.  It may (or should) include the express buses too.  I'm one of those people that need both (the express bus and Metro-North).  During months where I have passes for both, I spend well over $400.00 a month ($208 for a pass from Riverdale to Grand Central, plus $238.00 for a weekly express bus pass for four weeks).

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On 1/26/2018 at 12:35 PM, NY1635 said:

What's stopping people from North Valley Stream and Elmont from driving into Rosedale to get the Freedom Ticket?

I don't think that Rosedale station has a parking lot and if they do is it on Fran Lewis, or Hook Creek? Also, traffic on Sunrise Highway. (I think). 

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On 1/26/2018 at 12:35 PM, NY1635 said:

What's stopping people from North Valley Stream and Elmont from driving into Rosedale to get the Freedom Ticket?

North Valley Stream/Elmont don't have a LIRR station to begin with so it probably doesn't matter much. There's hardly any non-permit parking in Valley Stream nor Floral Park There's not enough parking at Rosedale, but it would be interesting if people start driving to the Green Acres parking garage and take the Q85 to the Rosedale Station.

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52 minutes ago, N6 Limited said:

North Valley Stream/Elmont don't have a LIRR station to begin with so it probably doesn't matter much. There's hardly any non-permit parking in Valley Stream nor Floral Park There's not enough parking at Rosedale, but it would be interesting if people start driving to the Green Acres parking garage and take the Q85 to the Rosedale Station.

The problem is the first Q85 doesn't leave Green Acres until after 8:30AM. The Q5 serves it earlier, but the Green Acres buses don't pass by the LIRR Rosedale station. I suppose what some might do is drive to the Q4/X64 terminal (if they can find parking in the residential neighborhood), and take that to St. Albans. 

 

 

Edited by checkmatechamp13

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1 hour ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

The problem is the first Q85 doesn't leave Green Acres until after 8:30AM. The Q5 serves it earlier, but the Green Acres buses don't pass by the LIRR Rosedale station. I suppose what some might do is drive to the Q4/X64 terminal (if they can find parking in the residential neighborhood), and take that to St. Albans.

1

Motorists usually drive past the Q4 stop at Linden and 234th to enter the Cross Island Parkway. The people who walk into Queens from North Valley Stream to catch the Q4 are few in number because it's dangerous to cross at the light.

1 hour ago, N6 Limited said:

North Valley Stream/Elmont don't have a LIRR station to begin with so it probably doesn't matter much. There's hardly any non-permit parking in Valley Stream nor Floral Park There's not enough parking at Rosedale, but it would be interesting if people start driving to the Green Acres parking garage and take the Q85 to the Rosedale Station.

I don't think that's possible because Green Acres has gotten busier ever since they built the commons where the old movie theater used to be. The people who take the Q85 tend to be from Queens and I rarely see anyone from the n1 connect to the 5 or 85 at the Macys stop.

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https://www.amny.com/transit/lirr-subway-transfer-1.17162854

 

Freedom Ticket pilot program ‘being set up for failure’ in its current form, officials say

A group of eight elected officials sent a letter to MTA chairman Joe Lhota, urging him to reconsider the current Freedom Ticket pilot program.

The Freedom Ticket pilot program combining Long Island Rail Road and subway or bus fare will not work if riders have to transfer at Atlantic Terminal, elected officials said in a letter to MTA chairman Joe Lhota on March 5, 2018. Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

By Lauren Cooklauren.cook@amny.com  @L_Cook865Updated March 6, 2018 8:35 PM

Several elected officials are claiming the MTA’s Freedom Ticket pilot program has been set up for failure before it has even been launched.

The highly-anticipated pilot program would allow commuters from select areas of Queens and Brooklyn to buy one-way tickets, weekly or monthly passes that includes a ride on the Long Island Rail Road and then a transfer to the city’s subway and bus systems in an effort to provide seamless transfers and shorten commute times.

While the fares would be more than MetroCard’s rates, they would be cheaper than the cost of buying both an LIRR ticket and a MetroCard combined.

But revisions to the pilot that would force Queens residents to transfer at Atlantic Terminal in order to reach Manhattan would increase commute times substantially, the group of eight officials contend in a letter to MTA chairman Joe Lhota, dated March 5.

 

“. . .Given this significant limitation, without the option of Penn Station, I expect few southeast Queens residents would use Freedom Tickets if the pilot program is implemented in its current state,” the letter reads. “The pilot is therefore being set up for failure, an outcome that is unacceptable, as it will not properly serve southeast Queens residents, allow for sufficient outreach in the community, nor gauge their use of a long-term program.”

The letter was signed by Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks, Sens. Leroy Comrie and James Sanders, Assembs. Alicia Hyndman and Clyde Vanel, as well as City Council members Adrienne Adams and Daneek Miller.

The original proposal, put forth by the New York City Transit Riders Council in 2015, would have given commuters from Rosedale, Laurelton, Locust Manor, St. Albans, Hollis and Queens Village the opportunity to purchase a $6.50 one-way Freedom Ticket that would take them to Penn Station or to Atlantic Terminal, with one transfer to city subways or buses included in the cost, according to the officials.

“The Freedom Ticket has great potential to reduce the cost and time burdens faced by southeast Queens transit users who commute to Manhattan,” the letter reads. “Right now, these residents must either pay a high price (currently $10.25 for a one-way peak fare) for a quick trip on the LIRR, or a lower fare for a much longer trip via New York City Transit.”

The pilot in its current form is “inferior,” the officials added.

Lhota had said in January that the Freedom Ticket program would launch in 2018, adding that the agency was “very, very close” to launching it.

An MTA spokesman said the agency was reviewing the letter.

With Vincent Barone

 

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If I'm not mistaken, the pilot was designed this way in light of the capacity issues at PSNY because of the Amtrak track work. That excuse reeks of LIRR conservatism, however. I think given the small scope of the pilot, they could afford full CTZ access (or at the very least Woodside, HPA, LIC).

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40 minutes ago, RR503 said:

If I'm not mistaken, the pilot was designed this way in light of the capacity issues at PSNY because of the Amtrak track work. That excuse reeks of LIRR conservatism, however. I think given the small scope of the pilot, they could afford full CTZ access (or at the very least Woodside, HPA, LIC).

The LIRR doesn't want to divert trains away from Penn Station to LIC, HPA, or even Atlantic Terminal even when it makes sense. They're holding out hope that ESA will be completed someday just so they can run all branches except West Hempstead and Oyster Bay to Grand Central or Penn.

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It still helps for Downtown access and at the very least, some might use it as a quicker alternative to reachave Jamaica compared to the local bus or dollar van but I agree it would be better to allow access to Penn Station.

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