Pol fights against ‘unfair’ MTA fee

THE COURIER/photo by Billy Rennison

One local politician is worried the MTA’s green fee will put his constituents in the red.

Assemblymember Ed Braunstein said the MTA’s proposed green fee unfairly affects riders in his district.

The MTA recently proposed adding a $1 charge to each new MetroCard purchased; riders who refill their card will not be charged.

Many residents in northeast Queens use the area’s Long Island Railroad stations to purchase MetroCards where refilling is not an option, forcing folks to fork over $1 each time they need a new card.

The assemblymember said he does not believe the green fee should be abolished, just that at machines where refilling is not an option the dollar charge should be waived.

“If [residents] are incapable of refilling the card, which is the whole purpose of the green fee, then you shouldn’t be paying a dollar. I think it’s pretty clear,” said Braunstein.

The assemblymember said his constituents will be paying roughly $50 a year if the plan goes through as is.

“If my constituents are paying $50 and everybody else in the city is paying $3, I’m going to object to that as unfair,” he said.

The MTA is looking at addressing this situation, said spokesperson Kevin Ortiz, though he could not say how it would be handled. Ortiz added that customers can purchase cards at out of system vendors, where the green fee will be waived.

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