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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    MTA Fare Hikes Make Students Commute Harder

    “I used to take the bus to work since I didn’t have a car,” Diane Wyland, a Stony Brook University sophomore, said about the recent mass transit fare hikes. “Now with the drastic increases in bus tickets, I’m going to start to find rides or ride my bike.”

    In an effort to raise money to close the $1.2 billion budget gap, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority released a list of subway and bus fare increases beginning May 31st and toll fares in mid-July.

    The New York City subway and bus fares would increase from $2 to $2.50, and the monthly MetroCard will increase from $81 to $103.

    Long Island Railroad rates will increase between 20 and 30 percent, depending upon location.

    Victor Rodriguez, a Stony Brook University senior, rides the Long Island Railroad from campus when returning to his home in Queens.

    “It’s going to be more of a nuisance to travel now,” Rodriguez said. “But it’s still cheaper than having a car and it’s still a better option, especially for those who work in the city.”

    One-way E-ZPass and cash tolls on major bridges and tunnels will rise as well. On the Robert Kennedy Bridge and the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, fares will rise from $4.15 to $5.26. One-way cash tolls will rise from $5 to $6.50.

    The Long Island bus line, which operates mostly in Nassau County, will experience some of the biggest fare increases from $2 to $3.50.

    After the vote for the increases was approved, the MTA said there is a possibility they will insist even higher fares from passengers next year unless the state Legislature proposes a rescue plan.

    David Campbell, a Stony Brook University junior, relies on public transportation to get to his home in Kings Park from and hopes that lawmakers need to come up with a rescue plan.

    “This is a tough economic time we’re all in,” Campbell said. “The last thing they should do is ask for more money from us, especially when jobs are hard to come by.”

    While it is unknown how much LIRR ticket prices will be raised, Stony Brook University students who travel home frequently will be paying an average of 23 percent more out of pocket.

    Alyssa Oliveras, a Stony Brook University junior, used to travel to her home in Queens on the LIRR almost every weekend.

    “I can’t afford to go home as much because it’s too expensive,” Oliveras said. “To raise the prices of the most important means of transportation for Stony Brook students, really hits home for all of us.”

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