New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) will introduce “Atlantic Ticket,” which will offer discounted Long Island Rail Road fares for customers traveling between Brooklyn and seven stations in Queens on a temporary basis. Atlantic Ticket is part of a field study that will be designed to measure what impact the lower fare will have on ridership on the LIRR and New York City subways and buses.
The study is being conducted for travel to and from Atlantic Terminal, Brooklyn, where the LIRR has more seating capacity on existing trains than it does on trains to Penn Station. It applies to seven stations in Queens that offer service to and from Brooklyn and where customers often use bus service provided by the MTA. Customers at eligible stations can board either Atlantic Terminal-bound trains, or Penn-bound trains and transfer to an Atlantic Terminal-bound train at Jamaica. The Atlantic Ticket field study builds upon a program first proposed by the New York City Transit Riders Council.
“Many of our customers from eastern and southeastern Queens live near enough to the LIRR to use it regularly, but because of our existing fare structure they’ve historically chosen to commute using a combination of MTA subways and buses,” said MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota. “This study will let us gauge whether lowering LIRR fares has an effect on ridership of the LIRR, subway and express buses. We also want to see how the policy change affects existing LIRR operations.”
Under the study, the fare for a one-way LIRR ticket between Brooklyn and the seven Queens stations will be $5, a reduction of 51% from the current peak fare of $10.25, and a reduction of 33% from the current off-peak fare of $7.50.
For commuters interested in more frequent travel on LIRR, the MTA will also offer a $60 joint weekly unlimited-ride ticket valid for LIRR travel between the selected stations and transfers to NYC subways and buses. (This amount is almost the same as the $59.50 current express bus weekly unlimited fare, which also offers unlimited trips on subways or local buses.)
Compared to the current fares in Southeast Queens, the special $60 weekly ticket will offer a 42.5% discount over the combined current two-system fare of $104.25.