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NYC to examine how commuter railways can reduce subway congestion

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The city will study whether lower fares and increased service on Metro North and LIRR could encourage commuters to make the switch

Bryan R. Smith/Stringer

The city is investigating ways to reduce the number of commuters using the subway by transferring them to the commuter rail lines, Crain’s reports. The city’s Department of Transportation has hired engineering firm AECOM to study ways in which ridership levels could be increased on Metro North and Long Island Rail Road trains within city limits.

One of the key components of the study, which got underway in January, will be looking at ways to encourage commuters to switch to the other rail lines. This could be through reducing fairs while the trains are within city limits, and also increasing the frequency of trains. For example, the city is really interested in running trains more frequently between Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn and Jamaica Station in Queens; the idea is that commuters would then switch to the subway at the Barclays Center, according to Crain’s.

The city has spent $787,000 on this study, which is expected to wrap up in October. Any changes on these commuter rails will have to be approved by the state-controlled MTA.