The City Council’s Queens delegation this week announced its unanimous support for the Commuter Rail Fare Equalization Proposal.
All 15 members of the Queens contingent have endorsed Resolution 670, calling on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to equalize commuter rail fares for riders traveling within city limits to that of New York City Transit subways and buses, and provide a free transfer between all three modes of transportation.
At six hours and 18 minutes per week, city residents currently suffer the longest work commute of any large city in the nation, according to City Councilman I. Daneek Miller (D-St. Albans), who introduced Res. 670 in April. But for those in so-called “transportation deserts” – such as Bayside, Southeast Queens or the Rockaways – commutes can exceed 15 hours per week.
The U.S. Census Bureau classifies this as an “extreme commute,” Miller has said.
Commuter rail fare equalization, according to Miller, will increase access to over 40 Metro North and Long Island Rail Road stations within the five boroughs, and serve to shorten commute times. The former transit union official said he believes that improved access to commuter rail transit will also spur development in communities serviced by the railroads.