Yesterday the New York Post reports that Metro-North and LIRR may be phasing out yet another thing to save money: the discounts for buying tickets online. I have to admit though, I am curious: how many people have actually used Web Ticket? It has been around for a few years… I’ve used it a few times. But the one and only reason why I have is because of those discounts. Hell, they even market the whole thing by saying “Welcome to a convenient way to buy Metro-North train tickets for less.” Would people still use Web Ticket if there were no discounts? Anyone have thoughts on that? I don’t think I’d use it. There are quite a few people out there that need to buy their ticket from an actual person, they won’t use the machines. And certainly they wouldn’t use Web Ticket. But people that buy from Web Ticket probably have no issues buying from one of the many ticket machines available. And isn’t that more convenient? Buying the ticket when you need it, and not worry about the ticket taking a few days to come in the mail? The Mail and Ride system is separate, being subscribed and not having to buy the ticket on your own is convenient… and I imagine people would still use this service.
Another proposed change would effect returning tickets: a small fee will be charged, instead of being free. I suppose I can understand this, and so many places nowadays won’t accept returns period. Or they charge fees of an arm and a leg, and possibly your first-born child. Most people don’t even realize you can return tickets.
The possible elimination of off-peak fares remains the big change. Apparently more information will be revealed next week, after the MTA has their monthly board meeting.
I use webticket all the time, you have to plan a head a little but it’s pretty easy. I do it mostly for the discount, but would probably still do it even without a discount. They must want people to buy tickets online, it must be cheaper for them some way, otherwise I don’t see why they’d offer the discounts. But perhaps they’ve reached the point where enough people are using the service and they want to see if they can get that to continue without the discounts.
No off peak fares is just plain dumb, It helps keep the trains less crowded, and would seem to punish those who travel mostly at off peak times, or reverse commute. I doubt it will happen.
The no off-peak is off the table. What will happen is no more discount online, lesser discount on monthly tickets and off-peak tickets. As it stands now monthly is 50% off peak tickets (figure 2 rides per day 5 days a week), off-peak is 25% off peak fares. So those percentage numbers will probably come down. Maybe 40-45% off monthly and 20% off peak fares? Find out next week…
MTA is going to kill themsleves in the foot. Taking the train to Manhattan for a day is like planning for a mini vacation. Prices are getting totally out of control and paychecks hold steady. Politicians don’t care or want to help because they only help themselves or the rich.
I’m telling you America is falling apart unless the public starts to open their eyes and take back our country from the government. Just think of millions and millions of New Yorkers bringing the MTA system to a standstill. Who will have the last laugh then? Nobody will be able to go anywhere.
I use Web Ticket because of the discount. No discount, no Web Ticket. I’ll buy at the machine. Instead of buying ten tickets at a clip (which I generally do) — and giving them the money to invest ahead of the time that it is used for travel, I’ll buy as needed on that day only. Now they will have no future money for them to invest as a cushion. Ooops!
Stupid, stupid decision. But — what can we expect? These executives are morons.
Yes, I have heard of Web Ticket, but no I have not used it.
Most of my trips are unplanned, so using Web Ticket isn’t an option for me.
As for the Off Peak fare elimination, that would be just plan stupid. I ride during the off peak for two reason; it’s not crowded, and it’s cheaper. If they eliminate that, you lost me as a customer.
Web Ticket is the cheapest way to buy tickets, period. Ten trips (peak and off-peak) are good for a year and can be shared with other passengers.
I seriously doubt that the off-peak ticket will go away (especially on the New Haven line in CT), though the discount may be lessened.
Check our website for more news: http://www.trainweb.org/ct
Or my blog, “Talking Transportation”:
Jim Cameron / Chairman
CT Rail Commuter Council
Some of the chatter I’ve seen and heard was that they are limiting the amount of time one ways can be used and charging a fee to return them is they want to cut back on train crews and this would inhibit people from stockpiling tickets that may have not been collected.
The only reason I ever used webticket honestly was for the size of the ticket. Webticket lets you buy weeklies/10 trips printed on metrocard sized stock, and I’m not sure if it’s just me but I MUCH prefer that size then to the oddly sized paper they give you at the machines. Now that I’m a fulltime monthly user I just buy it at the machine a couple of days before that rush on the first day of the month, but if I ever need 1otrips/weekly’s unless its last minute I much prefer the webticket for those. Sure, the discount helps but honestly it’s the size that gets me haha.
I almost always buy through WebTicket. (That guy’s voice in GCT always gets me, ha ha. “What time is it? It’s MetroNorth Train Time!”)
I buy daily tickets and 10-trips through this method, and find it extremely helpful and convenient. The only time I use the machines is when I have unexpectedly run out of WebTickets. Why? Because the lines at the machines in GCT are almost always very long when I go through there. Either I’m stuck waiting half an hour in line (and taking a later train than I wanted), usually behind people who can’t use the machines properly, or I have to pay the onboard fare. Lines are never so bad on the suburban platforms, but there is always the risk the machine out there will be broken and you will be stuck with the onboard fare anyway.
Not only that, I also like the smaller size of WebTickets, particularly for the 10-trips. I’ve bought one of those from the machine exactly once, and the extra size was very annoying. A 10-trip WebTicket fits well in the same pocket as my MetroCard, and I love that.
I really love the discount from buying online, since it means each of my 10-trip journeys costs $0.25 less than if I had bought the 10-trip at the machine, and would really hate it if MetroNorth got rid of it.