Earlier this year, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) voted to raise the base fare on subways and buses from $2.25 to $2.50, effective on March 1. They also increased the cost of the 30day MetroCard from $104, to $112. On MTA’s website, MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph J. Lhota states, “[It is] costs that the MTA does not exercise control over, namely those for debt service, pensions, energy, paratransit, and employee and retiree health care, continue to increase beyond the rate of inflation.”
However, what residents of Long Island dreaded the most was the increase in Long Island Rail Road ticket fare. On March 1, the prices were raised between 8.19 percent and 9.31 percent, depending on the ticket type and distance. For many, the LIRR is the only way to get into the city, and this leaves a lot of students at Post very frustrated. For instance, it is now nine dollars for an offpeak to ride from Hicksville into the city.
Kent Johansson, a junior Theater major, lives on campus and is not happy with this change. Johansson stated, “Taking the bus and buying an MTA card is much more expensive now after the price increased.” Johansson objected to the price increase since he does not have any other choice and, for many students, every penny counts. Johansson continued, “Bus is the only alternative to get off campus when the shuttle bus stops going.”
Petter Holmsen, a junior Film major who commutes by car to school from Glen Cove, believes that it is too expensive as well. Holmsen stated, “It’s too expensive, but hey: this is America. They [MTA] got the power. For my roommates and I, it is easier and cheaper to buy a car. Instead of riding public transportation everywhere, and all over the Island to get to where one is going, it is better to have a car. I would love to ride public transportation, but it is too expensive, and the offer [schedule and locations] is very poor,” said Holmsen.
Cato Benjaminsen, a junior Finance major, lives off campus but states that he is not that impacted. “Even though I am taking the LIRR and the bus to school, I am not that affected by the new prices since I am only at school two days a week. Of course it is expensive, and it’s bad that it is getting even more expensive. Next semester I have to have class three days a week, so it might be cheaper getting a car with my girlfriend.”
It is evident that a lot of people all around the New York area will be affected by this price increase, LIU Post being no exception. Students on campus are more or less affected by this. Some students live on campus and don’t go offcampus except in the free shuttle transportation that LIU Post provides to nearby locations such as Hicksville station and Broadway mall, a perfect way to avoid the ticket charge on a regular bus, while commuters are more heavily impacted. However, some commuters go by car and can avoid the issue all together, even though other issues like rising gas costs can be a problem.
For me, the prices affect me tremendously, since I am a commuter that usually goes by bus. I also use the Long Island Rail Road almost every weekend to go into the city and use the subway while I’m there. However, the reason they raised the price seems appropriate and I accept the fact that they made that decision, but nevertheless I’m still bummed out since I won’t have as much money in my pocket.