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Local pols push for “Freedom Ticket” from MTA, LIRR

Elected officials, at the end of January, called on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) to initiate a pilot program for the proposed “Freedom Ticket,” a travel benefit which would allow commuters to pay a single fare for travel within New York City on MTA subways and LIRR trains.

The “Freedom Ticket” would allow riders to purchase a single one-way ticket or a weekly or monthly pass valid for travel on both the subway and railroad trains for less than the price of tickets and passes for both. The plan – building on the CityTicket pilot, which established a reduced fare on weekends within city limits on LIRR and Metro-North trains – would include trips between the Atlantic Terminal and East New York stations on the LIRR’s Atlantic Branch, including the Nostrand Avenue station.

“In Brooklyn, the ‘Freedom Ticket’ presents an opportunity to support neighborhood growth and development in East New York,” wrote Borough President Eric Adams in a letter to MTA Chair Thomas Prendergast. “We believe that the ‘Freedom Ticket’ program could be a significant asset in mitigating strain on the existing subway system while also providing residents in the East New York area an affordable option to ride the LIRR to Atlantic Terminal.”

The pilot program, Adams said, would reduce costs and expand transit options for a number of New Yorkers, as well as many of those who will be impacted by impending service disruptions due to planned repairs on the L train’s Canarsie Tube.

“As the population of Brooklyn continues to grow, we must begin to assess our current transportation infrastructure and its ability to meet the increasing public demand,” said Councilmember Laurie Cumbo, stressing also the would-be pilot’s potential to promote economic development. “The ‘Freedom Ticket’ is a time-efficient and cost-effective way for New Yorkers to use our city’s transit system – particularly the LIRR – during their daily commutes.”

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