Discussion relating to the operations of MTA MetroNorth Railroad including west of Hudson operations and discussion of CtDOT sponsored rail operations such as Shore Line East and the Springfield to New Haven Hartford Line

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, nomis, FL9AC, Jeff Smith

  by fordhamroad
 
-does Metro-North offer, or has it considered offering, a Railfan ticket which would provide unlimited system rides for a specified period of time.
MTA does sell day passes for the NYC subway system, allowing riders to hop on or off, buses and trains. Great for touring and sightseeing.
-It would be nice to get a two day pass on Metro-North and CDOT, tour the system, photograph a bit, visit Danbury Railroad Museum or Croton Station. Most of the travel would probably be on off peak trains or retro in direction. I suppose a similar one for LIRR would work also.

Roger
  by pnaw10
 
fordhamroad wrote:-does Metro-North offer, or has it considered offering, a Railfan ticket which would provide unlimited system rides for a specified period of time.
A good idea... but:

In order for MTA to know these are being bought by true railfans who might only ride occasionally -- opposed to everyday commuters looking to save a buck -- the price would have to be higher than the price of round-trip travel to the furthest point on the line.

Interestingly, Waterbury is listed as 88 miles from GCT and New Haven is only 73, but the most expensive fare is from New Haven. Assuming you use a ticket window or TVM, the round-trip fare would be $37 peak or $28 off-peak.

A railfan pass would need to cost more than that in order to prevent regular commuters from taking advantage of the offer. And if you're looking to see as much of the system as possible in just a day or two, you'll probably need peak access or else you could get stuck somewhere, waiting for peak period to be over.

If a railfan ticket was anything less than $37 a day, regular customers would ditch their usual ticket and get the railfan pass instead. And I don't know about you, but $37 is a little bit steep, considering it'd still be very tough to visit and photograph every station in the system in just one day (assuming more than just peeking out when the train stops).

In contrast, if most commuters only take the subway twice a day (once to work and once back home), the $7 fun pass is affordable enough for tourists, but still outprices people who only need two $2 rides a day. Unfortunately, Metro North goes much longer distances for much higher fares, so a "funpass" would not be affordable for most railfans or casual tourists. (And let's not even venture into how much a similar pass might cost on the LIRR.)

  by Lackawanna484
 
It might be interesting if MetroNorth and LIRR offered an "offpeak fare" of $10 for rides within the NYC limits during a day, perhaps beginning at 9am and ending at 4pm

  by Otto Vondrak
 
This may be the wrong forum for this, but on the subjec of Railfan Passes, I seem to remember NJT advertising such a thing in their public timetables of the late 1980s and early 1990s! Yes, THAT NJT. Can anyone confirm?

What would you be willing to pay for such a pass? The average off-peak 25-mile round trip costs about $20 (I am rounding off). Would you pay $50 for a railfan pass good for travel on the Hudson, Harlem, and New Haven Lines? $75? $100? I'm not even sure a day-pass would benefit a railfan that much anyway- I could be wrong. What do you all think?

-otto-

  by shlustig
 
By comparison, IIRC Chicago's METRA has a $5 weekend / holiday pass which is good for unlimited rides on all the commuter rail lines except the South Shore (which isn't part of METRA anyway).

  by Terminal Proceed
 
Metro North offers no such ticket.
  by fordhamroad
 
-well, THINK about it.
-perhaps it would be a practical thing to do for weekends.
-perhaps it could be done in connection with trips to rail tourist destinations such as Danbury Museum, or on weekends of Metro North Open Houses etc. Try it for special events?

Roger

  by Otto Vondrak
 
Metro-North already does special package deals for certain special events...

  by doepack
 
shlustig wrote:By comparison, IIRC Chicago's METRA has a $5 weekend / holiday pass which is good for unlimited rides on all the commuter rail lines except the South Shore (which isn't part of METRA anyway).
That is correct. The "bang for the buck" would really increase and be an even better deal if you could also ride three routes (plus two branch lines) that currently have no weekend service...

  by susquehannaQ
 
How about just pay regular fare?

Q

  by andy
 
Otto Vondrak wrote:This may be the wrong forum for this, but on the subjec of Railfan Passes, I seem to remember NJT advertising such a thing in their public timetables of the late 1980s and early 1990s! Yes, THAT NJT. Can anyone confirm?

What would you be willing to pay for such a pass? The average off-peak 25-mile round trip costs about $20 (I am rounding off). Would you pay $50 for a railfan pass good for travel on the Hudson, Harlem, and New Haven Lines? $75? $100? I'm not even sure a day-pass would benefit a railfan that much anyway- I could be wrong. What do you all think?

-otto-
Otto,

That is correct. NJT has it until July 1 of this year, when they eliminated it when fares increased. Whey they did have it, you had to buy it at a ticket window.

Here's a link to the original fare hike plan.

  by ajt
 
8 - eight - Railbuff passes were sold by NJT in the ticket's last year of existance. The buff market is much smaller than most buffs realize.

  by Terrapin Station
 
ajt wrote:8 - eight - Railbuff passes were sold by NJT in the ticket's last year of existance. The buff market is much smaller than most buffs realize.
If I had known that they were getting rid of it, I would have bought one and used it before July 1. I suspect that a lot of railfans would have.

  by District D RTC
 
As for the NJT ticket, it was $25.00 for WEEKEND ONLY, meaning begining from the begining of service Sat morn to end of service sun night. The last time the had ANY P/R on this that I am aware of was 1989.

Their website made no mention of it, nor did any of their timetables. You could only buy it if you knew about it. Example, when I "rode the system" on NJT in 1998 I didn't know about it, and used a 10-trip ticket to make my way. Had I known they had it, I would have bought one for the lines that have decent weekend service, but would still have needed to do Raritain-High Bridge and Dover-Hackettstown, as well as the Pascack Valley Line on my own $$ on a weekday.

I honestly think that if MN offered one, for $30.00 valid from 00:01 Sat morning until the end of serice Sun Night (say 03:59 MON) it would sell. It would need a bit of Marketing, but nothing special, just a mention in Mileposts, a mention in an upcoming Timetable issuance, and perhaps an occasional in-car ad. It could be called the "Metro-North Explorer's Pass". Just an idea, but I'll throw it out here since I know the walls have ears...IN A GOOD WAY.