BETHPAGE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Despite the fact that the Long Island Rail Road has had its worst on-time performance in 18 years, a fare hike is coming.

Or so it thinks.

A 4 percent hike is scheduled for March 2019. But on Monday, state Senate Republicans proposed new legislation that would halt any fare increase until the LIRR shows measurable improvement in on-time performance and customer satisfaction.

Commuters enter a Long Island Rail Road train. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Members of the delegation said commuters are paying more for less — as prices rise while delays and cancellations continue for riders.

“The Long Island Rail Road must be held accountable for the poor service, and that’s what this legislation does,” Sen. Elaine Phillips said. “Let’s give Long Island Rail Road commuters the service they deserve and stop asking them to pay more for less.”

“We need to find out where that money is going, how it is being spent and how we can do better,” Assemblyman Dean Murray added.

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And what happens with the $60 million the LIRR is expecting from this fare increase? According to this legislation, there is money in the state budget that hasn’t been designated that recently became available. Lawmakers would give the railroad the $60 million only if its on-time performance improves.

Senate Democrats are saying this is an election year ploy and that Republicans haven’t done enough to improve LIRR performance.


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