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MTA Announces Expansion of CityTicket to Peak Commuter Railroad Trains

Updated Jul 19, 2023 4:00 p.m.

Expansion to Peak Trains Follows Previous Expansions to All Off-Peak Trains in February 2022 

Ticket Valid for All Commuter Railroad Travel Within the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan 

MTA Has Sold More Than 6 Million CityTickets Since Expansion to All Off-Peak 


The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced that CityTicket, which provides Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) customers with a low-cost, flat-fare to travel within New York City during off-peak hours, will be expanded to include peak hours by the end of August 2023. The expansion, previously announced by Governor Hochul, is geared to further encourage commuter railroad travel within the five boroughs. 

The peak CityTicket will be $7.00, covering commuter railroad stations in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens and build on the ticket's expansion in recent months. When it was first introduced, CityTicket was valid for weekend travel. In February 2022, the MTA expanded CityTicket to off-peak weekday trains, in addition to a flat $5.00 fare. Since the expansion to all off-peak travel the LIRR has sold more than 5 million tickets and Metro-North Railroad has sold 1.3 million. 

“Discounts for commuter rail travel within New York City have been key to the MTA’s strategy for getting New Yorkers back to transit and normal life,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. “Now we’re making those discounts 24/7, 365, and dramatically increasing service frequency in the boroughs. Big win.” 

“As both railroads look to rebuild our ridership after the pandemic, we are excited to see such high demand for our services within the city, and we are thrilled to be able to offer a more affordable commuter rail option to our city customers during peak hours,” said Metro-North Railroad President and LIRR Interim President Catherine Rinaldi.  “The expansion of CityTicket to peak hours occurs as both railroad are expanding their footprints within the City. LIRR recently made Mets-Willets Point a full time stop to serve the growing community in Flushing, and Metro-North, which has a sizeable presence in the Bronx, will be adding four additional Bronx stations as part of the Penn Access project.”   

The LIRR has 24 stations in Brooklyn and Queens, and Metro-North has 13 stations in the Bronx, as well as a stop in Harlem. CityTicket will also be valid for travel to and from Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station. The LIRR made the Mets-Willets Point station in Flushing, Queens a full-time stop in April and made a Far Rockaway Ticket for LIRR riders on the Far Rockaway Branch in May that mirrors the CityTicket. 

Metro-North service will expand to the East Bronx following the completion of Penn Station Access, which will add four new Metro-North stations at Hunts Point, Parkchester/Van Nest, Morris Park, and Co-Op City. Governor Hochul and MTA leadership broke ground on the project in December 2022

The New New York Panel convened by Governor Hochul and Mayor Adams recommended the expansion of CityTicket as an essential step to expand commuter railroad use in New York City and accelerate New York’s comeback. Currently, peak hour travel can cost as much as $10.75, a prohibitively expensive price for what is often a significantly shorter commute when compared to buses or the subway. 

“The MTA's LIRR and Metro-North commuter railroads had for too long been cost prohibitive to commuters in the better boroughs, but first the Atlantic Ticket, and then the CityTicket have been gamechangers, giving residents with some of the longest commute times in the city, fast, safe and reliable service at a reasonable price point,” said State Senator Leroy Comrie. “I am confident that the MTA's CityTicket expansion to peak hours will provide even greater accessibility to New York City's outer-borough commuters with a bit of financial relief also. After fierce advocacy by me and my colleagues, transit advocates, and the public, I commend Governor Hochul and Mayor Adams for their advocacy and leadership at the MTA for finally pushing this through to fruition.” 

“The CityTicket program gives New Yorkers an affordable way to travel within our city,” said State Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris. “We must continue to expand cost-effective, efficient travel options like this so everybody can travel throughout the five boroughs more easily.” 

“Anything the MTA can do to make New Yorker’s already complicated commutes easier and more affordable will go a long way toward the goal of getting more people back onto public transportation,” said State Senator John Liu. “Thank you to the MTA for expanding the popular CityTicket program and for continuing to develop new ways to make travel more convenient for New Yorkers." 

“I have been promoting this idea for years. CityTicket has a proven track record,” said State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky. “Expanding the program to peak commuter trains will reduce congestion on our roadways while providing people with a safe, cost-efficient mode of travel. I thank the MTA for this decision, which will greatly benefit my constituents in Queens.”  

“I applaud the MTA's efforts to make travel by railroads affordable throughout the five boroughs," said State Senator Roxanne J. Persaud. “Lowering peak fare from $10.75 to $7.00 under the new expansion plan will greatly incentivize thousands of New Yorkers to utilize this service daily.  More people using the railroad service will ease traffic congestion and shorten travel times for many, which aligns to lower emissions by encouraging mass transit travel via railroads.” 

“Northeast Queens has limited transit options, and many residents rely on the Long Island Rail Road for their morning and evening commutes,” said Assembly Member Edward Braunstein. “Expanding the successful CityTicket program to peak hours will save Northeast Queens residents traveling within New York City precious time and money. I celebrate the expansion of the program and commend the MTA and LIRR for their work to implement the discounted ticket program for NYC riders.” 

“As many folks across the Bronx rely on public transportation, the high price of fares has caused them a great deal of financial distress,” said Assembly Member Kenny Burgos. “The expansion of CityTicket to peak hours will make fares more affordable and help ease the burden for commuters. I applaud the MTA for taking this step that will benefit New Yorkers in need." 

“We are excited about the expansion of the CityTicket to peak commuter times,” said Assembly Member Clyde Vanel. “My community is a transportation desert, where the cost to commute is cost prohibitive.  This program will help ease much of the cost for our commuters.” 

“The CityTicket is an affordable and efficient way for New Yorkers to use the LIRR to commute throughout our great city at a faster pace than existing alternatives,” said Assembly Member Andrew Hevesi. “By expanding City Ticket service to peak hours, the LIRR will be saving hundreds of Queens commuters money on their commute. I would like to thank the Governor, Mayor, and MTA for their work on this.” 

“I'm thrilled to hear that the MTA's CityTicket program is being expanded to offer peak-hour commuters reduced fares when traveling on the LIRR within the five boroughs,” said Assembly Member Juan Ardila. “Our city and state must continue in this tradition of making mass transit affordable and accessible to all New Yorkers.” 

“I am thrilled that the MTA will expand the LIRR CityTicket program to include peak travel times. My district is a transit desert where working-class commuters face a long, tiresome, and expensive commute,” said Assembly Member Khaleel Anderson. “This continued expansion will help to address long-standing inequities in public transit for Far Rockaway, Rosedale, Laurelton, and the rest of Southeast Queens. I will continue to hold the MTA to a higher standard of accountability as we seek to provide relief for working-class commuters and promote transit equity & economic growth across Southeast Queens and beyond.” 

“As someone who frequently uses the CityTicket, I am happy to see the MTA expanding this program to peak hours to better serve our communities,” said Assembly Member and Chair of the Committee on Aging Ron Kim. “It is essential that we continue to make public transit as convenient and affordable as possible for all New Yorkers.” 

“CityTicket has been a low-cost flat-fare available to commuters on the Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Rail Road during off-peak hours. Starting in August 2023, the fare will be expanded to include peak hours, as well as travel to and from Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station,” said Assembly Member Alicia L. Hyndman. “To see the original CityTicket expand from Laurelton, Rosedale and Hollis to all peak-hour trains is momentous progress and support for commuters.”

“Today marks a significant milestone in our journey towards a more accessible and connected NYC,” said NYC Council Member Nantasha Williams. “With the MTA's expansion of CityTicket to peak commuter railroad trains, we celebrate the increased transportation opportunities for our citizens. As an avid LIRR user, I am especially glad to hear this news! This step forward reflects our commitment to building a city where mobility knows no boundaries. Together, we pave the way for a brighter, more connected future.”  

“In my transit-rich district, which is home to the busiest bus-to-transfer location in the transit system, one option is often overlooked, namely the Long Island Railroad,” said NYC Councilmember Sandra Ung. “One of the reasons is because it was always a more expensive option, but the expansion of the CityTicket program to peak hours will help bring it more inline with the fares on subway and buses. The CityTicket’s expansion to all off-peak hours was a success. I’m sure the inclusion of on-peak hours will not only be a welcome alternative for commuters, but also help alleviate crowding on our buses and subways, benefiting all users of mass transit.”

“The expansion of the CityTicket program is essential in encouraging residents to use our commuter railroad to travel across our city,” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson. “I want to thank Governor Hochul and the MTA for today`s announcement and continued commitment to transit equity.”