The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is set to extend
the validity of one-way and round-trip tickets on the
commuter railroads from two weeks to two months. The refund
period for those tickets is being extended from one month
to two months. Ten-trip tickets will remain valid for six
months. The period during which a ten-trip ticket is
refundable is being lengthened to match its validity.
A $10 refund processing fee will remain in effect to recoup
some of the administrative expenses of issuing and mailing
The MTA anticipates that this change in the validity period
will mean an annual loss of about $6 million in revenue to
Metro-North Railroad and the Long Island Rail Road.
"We're pleased that the cost containment efforts of our
commuter railroads, combined with increased ridership, make
it possible to broaden our ticket validity and refund
policies to further benefit Long Island Rail Road and Metro
North customers," said MTA Chairman Joseph J. Lhota. "This
benefit will cost the railroads $6 million, but combined
with the expanded service investments announced last week,
shows the MTA's commitment to customer service."
In December 2010 the MTA abbreviated the validity periods
to reduce revenue loss from uncollected tickets and imposed
a refund fee of $10 to partially cover the actual cost of
processing the refund.
These policies generated numerous complaints from customers
and elected officials. In response, the MTA has agreed to
increase the validity on one-way and round-trip
These changes were presented to committees of the MTA board
at their July 23 meeting. They take effect September 4,