Are you paying too much to ride Metro-North? Maybe.
As we slowly return to semi-regular commuting by commuter rail in Connecticut, ridership on Metro-North is about half of pre-COVID levels, below the railroad’s hopes and its consultants’ predictions… but not mine.
But however often you’re taking the train these days, here are some money saving tips.
First tip: always buy your ticket before boarding the train. Conductors can charge you a hefty on-board surcharge up to $6.50 (but not for seniors) if you don’t have a ticket. That’s a rookie mistake you’ll only make once.
If you buy your ticket on the eTix app, be sure to activate your ticket before boarding the train, not when the conductor comes to collect your fare.
OFF-PEAK only fares remain in effect on all trains, even at rush hour, through the end of this year. Yet the railroad is still selling peak tickets, both on its eTix app and its ticket machines. Why?
The railroad says it’s had trouble reprogramming their 20-year-old ticket machines and app so they’ve been relying on a PR campaign to alert travelers not to buy peak tickets. I think they’d hoped to get back to peak fares long ago but now realize that’s not going to happen.
If you know you’re going to be riding regularly, buy a TEN-TRIP OFF-PEAK and you’ll save 15%. Mind you, these ten-trips are only good for six months but they can be shared, say, with your family.
There are also TEN-TRIP OFF-PEAK tickets for seniors, Medicare recipients and the disabled. All fares for those passengers are already discounted 50%, a substantial savings.
Chances are good …….