Rally calls on MTA to offer Bronx commuters discounted rates with "Freedom" ticket

FORDHAM, Bronx (WABC) -- A rally in the Bronx Monday pushed to give commuters more options to pay fares, including a discounted rate for Metro North tickets.

Making sure she can pick up her son from school on time costs Tatiana Ricardo extra.

She rides Metro North instead of the subway to get from Penn Station to Fordham in just 19 minutes. Then she has to pay for the bus ride home.

"It's $7.25 the Metro North, then over here I gotta take the bus so it's $2.75. So imagine that in a week, it's a lot," Ricardo said.

Which is why elected officials and transit advocates are calling on the MTA to offer Bronx commuters a so-called "Freedom" ticket.

ALSO READ | Some counties refuse to enforce new NY mask mandate
EMBED More News Videos

N.J. Burkett reports on the mask mandate from the East Side.



It would allow access to Metro North at a discounted rate and provide free subway or bus transfers.

"There's no reason why people who live in Connecticut or in other states outside of New York have a faster commute and a proportionately more accessible commute to New York City than people right here within the city," Bronx assembly member Kenny Burgos said.

"We have this wonderful rail infrastructure running through neighborhoods but it's priced at a premium and it's not affordable to a lot of the neighborhood residents ... that's ridiculous," MTA board member Andrew Albert said.

The MTA has an existing Atlantic ticket option in southeast Queens providing riders with discounted LIRR access.

Advocates say expanding the concept citywide would be a win-win: providing residents with a shorter commute while giving the agency a financial boost since Metro north ridership is still below pre-pandemic levels.

"This is about achieving the equity and the fairness and the justice that we rightfully deserve in the Bronx," Bronx Borough President-elect Vanessa Gibson said.

ALSO READ | Shortage of Santa impersonators due to COVID worries comes as demand is at all time high

EMBED More News Videos

As Christmas approaches, demand for Santa is at an all time high, but there's a shortage of St. Nick impersonators this season. Lauren Glassberg has more.



The MTA board will vote Wednesday on a similar program called city ticket.

It will offer discounted Metro North fares during off peak hours only with no free transfer.

Proponents of Freedom ticket say it doesn't go far enough.


----------
* More Bronx news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
* Follow us on YouTube
Submit a News Tip
Copyright © 2022 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.