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Riders Appreciate New Initiatives But See Missed Opportunities in FY25 Enacted New York State Budget

“While we are heartened to see many of our priorities included in this year’s budget, including increased funding for transit, passage of Sammy’s Law, and additional tools for the MTA to curb toll and fare evasion, we are disappointed that the FARES Act, which would be transformative for so many New Yorkers, was left on the table.

“Recent PCAC analysis found that more than one in four riders living in communities near 70% of New York City’s LIRR and Metro-North stations would benefit from Fair Fares on the commuter rails if eligibility were raised to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. As we continue to focus on the importance of ensuring equitable access to transit and targeted affordability, Albany let a winner slip through its fingers by not passing this low-cost, common-sense Act.

“We thank Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins for including the FARES Act in the Senate’s One-House Budget Resolution and Senator Comrie for steadfastly championing this legislation on behalf of his constituents and the millions of New Yorkers who stand to benefit from the FARES Act.

“No New Yorker should have to forgo the commuter rail service that runs through their neighborhood because they cannot afford it. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners in government to turn rhetoric into results and deliver more affordable, equitable, and accessible transit to MTA riders. Most urgently, we will pursue passage of the Rider Representation Act, S.20A/A.923A, which would allow rider representatives to pursue this and other crucial policies at the MTA Board level.”