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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Act Today to Lock In Metro-North Ticket Validity Dates

If you want to save on Metro-North train fares between New York State stations, you need to hurry. Today is the last day to purchase tickets before a fare increase and ticket validity rules change. And you can buy them online.

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Metro-North said effective Thursday, the following changes will take effect—with the changes in fares and discounts not applying to tickets for travel to/from Connecticut stations. However, changes in ticket validity/refund policies, including the refund processing fee, will apply:

• Full fare one-way, full fare 10-trip, weekly, and monthly fares to/from Manhattan to New York State stations will increase by up to 11.1 percent.

• Intermediate full fares to New York State stations will increase by up to 10.6 percent. (The increases for some child/senior/disabled person/Medicare recipient fares may vary slightly from these percentages.)

• One-way and round-trip tickets (including special events and Getaways tickets) will no longer be sold through WebTicket.

• All WebTicket discounts will be eliminated on tickets for travel between New York State stations.

• The existing Mail&Ride 4 percent discount on the rail portion of the joint Monthly Ticket/Monthly Unlimited MetroCard will be reduced to 2 percent on tickets for travel between New York State stations.

• The existing 2 percent discount on other Mail&Ride tickets will be eliminated on tickets for travel between New York State stations.

• On-board step-ups and ride extensions will be rounded up to the next dollar, except for step-ups for seniors/disabled persons/Medicare recipients.

• A Refund Processing Fee of $10 per transaction will be implemented for redemption of unused or partially used tickets.

In addition, Metro-North said the following changes will apply to all ticket validity periods:

• The validity period for all one-way and round-trip tickets will be reduced from six months to 14 days (including date of purchase).

• The validity period for all 10-trip tickets will be reduced from one year to six months (including date of purchase).

Changes to refund periods for noncommutation tickets will be as follows:

• One-way and round-trip tickets will be refundable for 30 days after date of purchase, reduced from the existing six months refund period.

• Ten-trip tickets will be refundable for 30 days after date of purchase, reduced from the existing one-year refund period.

“These changes are going to confuse a lot of commuters and casual riders alike,” said Jim Cameron, chairman of the Connecticut Rail Commuter Council. “Aside from raising revenue for the MTA, they make no sense and will only discourage use of mass transit.”

“But all riders should know that if they want to ‘lock in’ tickets under the old, more generous time limits they can do so, but only if those tickets are dated before December 30, 2010. This is perfectly legal and happens every time there’s a fare change.”

Cameron added: “The Connecticut Rail Commuter Council is very concerned that faster-expiring multi-trip tickets will force many riders to instead buy single-trip tickets each time they travel. 

“That will mean longer lines at ticket machines and possible delays, so passengers should plan ahead.”

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Posted 12/29/10 at 05:56 PM  Permalink



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