Stricter Metro-North Refund Rules Take Effect

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Some tickets will no longer be refundable under Metro-North's new policies. Photo Credit: Greg Canuel

Got a Metro-North ticket you haven’t used and want to exchange for cash? If you purchase your ticket today or afterward and it becomes more than 30 days old, forget about it. And if the ticket costs less than $10, you still won’t be seeing a refund. That would be eaten up in the transaction fee.

Those are some of the results of new Metro-North policies that go into effect Thursday, Dec. 30.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, operator of Metro-North, is implementing the new rules despite public hearings earlier this year in Stamford and other areas during which speakers voiced their opposition. About two dozen people attended the Stamford hearing, held in September.

Gov. M. Jodi Rell added her voice to the uproar over changes, saying in a statement they would “have the effect of turning away passengers at the very time we are doing our best to make public transportation options more attractive.”

Nevertheless, MTA adopted the changes. There are a few adjustments to the original proposals that help keep a few more dollars in the pockets of commuters, however. For example, the $15 fee originally proposed to redeem an unused, valid ticket is now $10.

Other changes include refunds for 10-trip tickets, which no longer will be available up to a year after purchase. Now there is a 30-day limit after the purchase date to obtain refunds.

The same holds for all round-trip and one-way tickets, which used to be refundable up to six months after purchase. That period is now down to 30 days.

The validity period for all tickets also has been drastically shortened: down to 14 days (previously, six months) for all round-trip and one-way tickets, and six months (previously one year) for 10-trip tickets.

Details on these and other changes may be found on the MTA web site. Do these changes matter to you? Will they cause you to commute less using Metro-North? What alternatives are available to commuters? Please leave a comment below. 

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