On The Heels Of A Fare Increase, Summertime Ridership Survey Says 93% of Metro-North Customers are Satisfied with Service

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On The Heels Of A Fare Increase, Summertime Ridership Survey Says 93% of Metro-North Customers are Satisfied with Service

December 15, 2010 - 02:12


New York, NY (December 14, 2010) – Metro-North riders found a note from the railroad on their seats tonight. The note was not about a service problem – it was an explanation of the 11.1% fare increase scheduled to take effect on December 30, 2010. In addition to the price up-tick for fares in New York State, the type of tickets sold and the terms they’re sold under have changed.

All WebTicket (internet purchase) discounts are being eliminated and a few types of tickets will no longer be sold via the web. Special event, ‘Getaway’, single day one-way and round trip tickets will no longer be available. The Mail&Ride 4% discount is being reduced to 2% or eliminated for travel between New York State stations. On-board step-up, ride extension and senior fares are also being increased. One-way and round trip tickets will be refundable only from 30 days of purchase, down from 6-months.

A $10 ticket refund processing fee will be implemented for redemption of unused or partially used tickets.

The life of issued tickets is being reduced. One-way and round trippers live only 14 days (reduced from 6 months) and ten-trips are reduced from 1 year to 6 months.

The bad news follows the good news Metro-North Railroad received that 93% of the customers surveyed this past June said overwhelmingly that they were satisfied with the train service overall. The poll had a range of topics from comfort, seat availability, and scheduling, to on-time performance and employee courtesy. The railroad also surpassed its sister commuter rail agency, Long Island Rail Road, for ridership last month.

"We at Metro-North are gratified that our customers are for the most part happy about taking our trains and that our front line employees continue to get extremely high ratings - 96% are satisfied with the courtesy and responsiveness of employees," said Metro-North President Howard Permut. "We will increase our efforts to improve in areas customers are least satisfied with, such as the perennial problems - toilets, both on trains and in stations, and communications during disruptions," he added.

To see photos and the restof the story on my transportation blog, click on this link below -

There are 8 Comments

I don't know what riders were surveyed but it obviously wasn't the majority that ride home from a hard day of work on those unsightly 40 year old trains that break down more often than show up on time and smell like straight piss. That deserves more money? We were promised new trains years ago and still haven't seen them. I guess lack of effort on the part of Metro North deserves a fare increase. That gives me a great idea. I think I'm going to walk into my job tomorrow, stop doing anything productive overall and then ask for a raise. I'll probably get it, right? Right?

Although the fare increase, particularly one this high is far from welcome news. The truth of the matter is, is that Metro North is ranked as one of the top commuter rail roads in the country. A quick look at the service of their Long Island counterpart would make you realize that even further.

As far as the new M8 trains for the New Haven line, they are all in and are slated to debut in the spring. They were promised this fall, but those types of promises are never kept.

The union that works the MNR are largely to blame for the fare increases. They are very strong and regulate a tremendous amount of how the system operates.

Again, 11% is a bit steep, but they are a dependable and reliable mode of transport.

This is not about comparing Metro North to the LIRR. Don't worry about others. It's about a business in desperate need of an upgrade in quality, yet asks for unwarranted ridiculous fare increases with no visible improvements. If the argument is that they are consistent, then a consistent fare is what they should get unless show me the reason for an increase.

Robert Cox's picture

If they surveyed a random set of people who were on the train at a given time that might produce a very differente response from regulars.

Did they survey people who regularly purchase a monthly ticket?

Did they survey people who were riding on the weekends, were tourists, one time riders, occasional riders?

I am not terribly interested in the opinion of someone who rides the train a few times a year. Tell me what the daily commuters think then I will be impressed.

They definitely did not survey the regulars. I'm a regular who pays $186 a month to ride those trains. Specifically, on the New Haven line. This line has trains that are older than dirt and have not been kept up with for years. I can't count how many times I've been on a train that breaks down and has to be relieved by a rescue train. The excuse is always "the equipment is too old." Maybe the other lines don't have these problems because they have current, up to date "equipment" but the New Haven line that runs through New Rochelle has cars that leak from the ceiling, often don't have working air conditioning throughout the summer days of 100 degrees, which is unbearable and cruel and break down frequently to cause major disruptions in scheduling. So someone tell me if that deserves an 11% increase of fare with no real sign of reliable, well functioning trains. On what premise is this increase coming from?

So yes us riders of the New Haven line have had to put up with less than adequate, and antiquated rolling stock, but the new cars will be in service shortly.

And remember the delay with the new trains are several fold. For starters the New Haven line is a conglomerate with MNR and The Connecticut Department of Transportation. This line is the only line that requires catanary poles to reach the power source from Pelham north.

And furthermore a lesson should be learned with Amtraks less than admirable acquisition with the Acela line that is not optimally functional, less than a short span between DC and Boston.

Again, 11% is steep. But the MNR does have an excellent track record overall.

I was one of those that answered the survey. They were handed out onboard trains during the summer. It had generic questions that have been used in questionaires before.

In the time I've been in New Rochelle, I've been very pleased with Metro-North and its employees. I'm not crazy about paying $200/month but that's the breaks.

As one who commuted to Manhattan using Metro North and the LIRR, I can say that Metro North is MUCH BETTER than the LIRR. On the LIRR I had to stand most mornings and there were fewer trains. I remember having to look at the signs in Penn Station to see which track the train was going to come into, and then moving with the crowd to the correct platform. It was not the same platform each day. The Metro North trains and platforms were cleaner. Plus Grand Central Station is so much nicer than Penn Station. Metro North wins.