NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The MTA promises a combined LIRR-MetroCard ticket for Southeast Queens commuters is coming soon.

The long-awaited transit pass will allow riders to buy one-way, weekly or monthly passes for both the LIRR and the city’s bus and subway systems.

People commuting from southeast Queens were expecting to get the passes last fall, but the pilot was delayed by the summer subway melt down.

At a budget hearing in Albany on Thursday, MTA Chairman Joe Lhota promised the pilot program is imminent.

“We are working on it as we speak. We’re very, very close,” he said. “I fully expect it to happen this year and my expectation, when I say this year, don’t think about it as the end of the year. It could happen relatively soon.”

The ticket would be sold at several LIRR stations including Atlantic Terminal, East New York, Nostrand Avenue, Laurelton, Rosedale, St. Albans and Locust Manor.

The MTA’s hope is commuters seeking to save time and money will tap into underutilized, but more expensive LIRR service.

Local lawmakers pushing for the ticket predict it could save as many as 10 hours of commuting time per week.