F40CFan wrote:I like the idea of a "peak ticket", I've been thinking they should do something like that here. As for defining peak time, it would be any train on which they don't allow bicycles. This is clearly documented in the timetables.
Yah, I love peak tickets. Metro North "peak" times are trains arriving in Grand Central between 6:00 am and 10:00 am, and departing Grand Central between 4:00 PM and 8:00 PM. Note, there's also reverse peak in the morning, with commuters doing the reverse peak to Stamford (New Haven line, UBS & a recently opened Royal Bank of Scotland ajacent to the station) and White Plains (Harlem line). These reverse peaks are trains leaving Grand Central between 5:30 AM and 9:00 AM. Interesting, is that theirs reverse peak in the AM, but off peak in the PM.
Since Grand Central has about 17 ticket vending machine's (machines you can use credit/debit cards or cash. Instead of talking to an agent, you do your ticket on screen) and about 4 or 5 ticket agents (cash only) availible from 5:30 am to 1:30 or so am, there's never a time where you wouldn't able to get a ticket. If by some chance the agent isn't there, use the machine. With that in mind if your on a peak train, it's a 15% surcharge from off-peak prices (my 10 trip off peak from Bridgeport-GCT is $100 compared to $155 for a peak 10 trip). If you don't have a ticket its $3 or 4 extra dollars, which'll be about the same price as if you have an off-peak ticket.
Why I like peak hour trains is that their less crowded first off (because there's more) and second is that people are either doing work, sleeping, or reading the paper. I don't have to listen to some yodel screaming on his phone the 90 minute trip, and on peak trains if someone has to use the phone normally they go into the vestuble, or use a low tone. With the increased prices, its also keeps the family with the 3 uncontrollable kids off the train which people on the off peak trains have to deal with. if I ever have to do something in NYC like an appointment I'll either try to take the 8:11 (the last peak hour express[ 2 stops]) and do something like the subway/walk around until my appointment, or take 1 or 2 off peak trains that originate in Bridgeport. That way I'll put up with the kids, but I can at least sit down since it starts at my station. Going home I will ALWAYS wait for a peak train if I'm at GCT after 3:15.