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CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1481504

BY COURTNEY OBENG

A local lawmaker introduced a bill on Feb. 12 aiming to make public transportation in Far Rockaway more affordable.

State Senator James Sanders’ Long Island Rail Road Fare Act seeks to remedy Far Rockaway’s exclusion in the Long Island Rail Road’s city ticket program, which offers $4.25 one-way trips within New York City on weekends. Trips to and from Far Rockaway, however, are not at the reduced rate because trains must pass through Nassau County. Sanders said his legislation will correct this issue.

“It is unfair for residents of Far Rockaway and visitors from other parts of the city to be deprived of the reduced fare because their train happens to pass through Nassau,” Sanders said.

The Long Island Rail Road Fare Act will not only make travel to Far Rockaway easier, but more affordable, Mike Scalla, legislative director to Senator Sanders, said.

“The fare act will make travel to Far Rockaway more affordable and should stimulate the economy, since it’s a beach community,” Scalla said.

The Long Island Rail Road Fare Act is the latest proposal put forth to make public transportation in southeast Queens more affordable.

In December 2015 the New York City Transit Riders Council proposed the Freedom Ticket program. Freedom Ticket would allow unlimited rides between MTA buses, Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North trains within NYC for a base price of $215 a month. Freedom Ticket is planned as a three-phase program. The first phase would launch in 2017 and will focus on southeast Queens.

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