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Queens Chronicle

No more cash on board for LIRR tickets in March

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Posted: Monday, November 18, 2019 4:44 pm | Updated: 12:38 pm, Thu Nov 21, 2019.

The Long Island Rail Road will no longer accept cash for tickets bought on trains as part of a pilot program, Newsday reported Monday.

The move will generate $1.1 million in annual savings "at a time where cost reductions are imperative," MTA spokesperson Meredith Daniels told the Chronicle Monday. Daniels added that the MTA noticed a 40 percent reduction in cash payments in the past year and that those account for 1 percent of transactions.

Not everyone is thrilled with the idea, though.

“We would have liked to have been consulted or at least had a conversation before hearing the announcement at the MTA meetings last week,” Lisa Daglian, executive director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee  to the MTA, told the Chronicle Monday.

Daglian said she understands budget constraints but that it is still useful to pay onboard when a booth is closed or a machine is out of service. Cash is also a go-to for people who don’t have credit cards and people who can ride with reduced fares, such as students and seniors.

Cash is “still accepted as a form of currency,” Daglian said.

She said she would like to see a justification of the move as well as MTA data on which demographic groups use cash more. According to Daglian, the MTA didn’t say how long the pilot program will last. She said the PCAC would like to have conversations with the MTA about possible exemptions.

The city is implementing One Metro New York, a contactless fare payment system for public transit. It will eventually replace the MetroCard. “But we’re not there yet,” Daglian said.

The Newsday report noted that the pilot program does not extend to MetroNorth.

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