As Tuesday marks the anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, the city is expressing its gratitude to MTA customers who suffered disruptions to their commutes for months following the storm by sponsoring free rides for certain A and R train riders.
Neighborhoods along both lines were among the hardest hit by the storm, according to The Daily News.
Governor Andrew Cuomo outlined the plan Friday in a press release:
These free rides are a thank you to the MTA riders in the Rockaways in Queens and those who use the R train in Brooklyn for taking the hardships of the storm in stride and for their understanding in the months since. From 12:01 Tuesday morning until 11:59 Tuesday evening, riders entering stations on the A line between Howard Beach and the Rockaway Peninsula and riders entering stations on the R line between Bay Ridge-95th Street and Court Street will not be charged a fare.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) October 25, 2013
While the governor's office hopes only those living in these neighborhoods will take part in the free ride program, there will be no official oversight to determine the daily commuters. The gates will simply be left open at the A train stations between Howard Beach and the Rockaway Peninsula and the R train stations between Bay Ridge-95th St. and Court St and no MetroCard will need to be swiped.
Governor Cuomo chose not to disclose how much the gesture would cost the city, but the Wall Street Journal estimates accommodating 95,000 riders who board the A and R trains in the two fare-free zones daily will cost roughly $167,200.