ATTENTION BROOKLYN AND QUEENS LIRR COMMUTERS: Atlantic Ticket is slated to be eliminated! This not only includes the $5 one-way ticket between Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn and stations in Queens, but also the $60 weekly ticket which includes a 7-Day Unlimited MetroCard for easy and affordable subway and bus connections!
Instead, there would be a CityTicket that costs $5 during off-peak hours and $7 during peak hours (a $2 increase from Atlantic Ticket's flat rate). However, this ticket does not include any free subway or bus transfers!
This also comes after the MTA chose to significantly reduce through-service to/from Atlantic Terminal, which has resulted in a reduction in ridership on the line. To then eliminate Atlantic Ticket and strip away all its benefits from riders who now get third-class service on the line would be despicable and discriminatory against Brooklyn and Queens community members, many of whom are unable to afford the $7 CityTicket and would be adversely affected.
These important discounts must not only be saved, but expanded so that all of us can afford easier and more accessible public transit options. For example, they should be included at Grand Central, which would be another incentive to take public transportation and fill up the empty trains that run to/from this new Manhattan terminal. New York City's affordability crisis shows that discounts for public transit, especially for those who need it the most, are critical now.
By Jack Nierenberg, Vice President
After testing the demo turnstiles and speaking with officials from the manufacturers, I can report that I am impressed with what I saw. New fare gate technology is long overdue for the MTA, and it was great to get a sense of what transit riders could be using in the near future. Whichever option is ultimately settled on, it will be a game changer for the MTA, the city, and the region.
Our discussions covered many facets of the new technology, and my findings are promising. First, these turnstiles will feature design elements and computerized systems (such as cameras and sensors) that would help deter fare evasion, improve accessibility, and allow for quick and easy maintenance. Inevitable defects and/or vandalism are addressed by redundancy in the computerized systems and the durability of the design. For example, the arms, which are made of shatterproof plexiglass, can be easily replaced.
We also addressed the issue of accessibility, on which the width of the gates has a bearing. If a gate is too narrow, it is less accessible, and it is crucial that everyone is able to easily pass through them. There will, of course, be wider gates for those with strollers or mobility devices. Cameras and/or sensors would also be able to effectively determine how long to keep the gate open based on factors such as their position, articles, etc.
I am also hopeful that, by their design intended to prevent fare evasion by incentive, these new turnstiles would help improve safety in the subway system. The issue of safety is a very complex one, and while this won’t solve it 100%, it is one smaller (but still substantial) piece of the puzzle.
Additionally, the versatility of these new turnstiles could enable OMNY to be rolled out on the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North, and I am glad that the MTA seems open to exploring that possibility. This could transform fare collection on the railroads into a tap-in/tap-out system similar to that in the Netherlands (which I was very impressed with when I used it). Such a system would allow for easier, more flexible commuting by train (especially since conductors would not need to check tickets anymore), as well as streamlined transferring between transit modes. Of course, this would be at the MTA’s discretion, but I encourage them to consider such a course of action.
With that said, the questions that remain are: 1) How much will this cost, and 2) where will the funds come from? While the answer is unclear at the moment, we implore the MTA to make sure that the cost is not borne by everyday New Yorkers and especially those in marginalized and/or vulnerable demographic groups. As long as that is fulfilled, we are all for the new turnstiles!