Discussion relating to the past and present operations of the NYC Subway, PATH, and Staten Island Railway (SIRT).

Moderator: GirlOnTheTrain

  by Allan
The party's over!!!

http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/20 ... y_fre.html

By Maura Yates who covers transportation news for the Advance.

"STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Next stop: Paying to ride the Staten Island Railway no matter where you get on or off.

The MTA plans to restore fare collection along the entire 14-mile rail line from St. George to Tottenville within the next few years, as part of a master plan to raise more revenue, cut down on crime and close what has been a free-ride perk that is unique in the city's public transit system.

Turnstiles recently installed at the Tompkinsville station are the first part of the plan, which eventually will incorporate "Smart Card" technology to collect fares along the rest of the line.

Riders now swipe their cards only at Tompkinsville and St. George, while the train is free for trips beginning and ending at any other stations along the line. Make the 37-minute trip between Stapleton and Tottenville, for instance, and pay not a cent.

When the new system goes online, which, owing to the MTA's budget crisis, is still at least a few years away, passengers will no longer use MetroCards but rather pay with a "Smart Card," likely a "tap and go" system, where a card is held up to a reader without the need to slow down to swipe.

The system would include a way for inspectors to check for proof that the fare was paid, and scofflaws likely would face a steep fine if caught.

If you didn't pay and there were a spot check, "you'd have a problem," said MTA board member Allen Cappelli.

St. George and Tompkinsville will remain the only stations with gates and turnstiles, though the MTA is considering possibly installing turnstiles at Grasmere as well, as it is a heavily used transfer point for the S53 bus to and from Brooklyn. Those three stations are among the most used along the line, and having the turnstiles would mean fare inspectors could focus their attentions on other stations without gates. No more free rideSt. George and Tompkinsville will remain the only stations with gates and turnstiles, but riders will have to pay at any exit point along the 14-mile Staten Island Railway line. STATEN ISLAND ADVANCE FILE PHOTO

The Railway lost about $3.4 million a year when onboard fare collectors were eliminated in 1997. Fares were collected only at St. George until this January, when a $6.9 million stationhouse opened at Tompkinsville. The Tompkinsville station alone is expected to collect about $702,000 a year in fares, but a projection of how much revenue the entire Railway could expect to earn with the new system in place was not immediately known.

While "there are people who clearly enjoy this unintended benefit" of a free ride, "everybody pays to go on the system everywhere else," said Cappelli, who is among a growing contingent pushing the MTA to bring back the fare for considerations of safety.

City Councilman James Oddo (R-Mid-Island/Brooklyn) said he has believed for years that "there is a direct correlation between the elimination of the fare on the Staten Island Railway and a spike in vandalism and crime on the trains and abutting communities."

"I don't think in the long run it's been worth the quote-unquote break," he said."
  by Head-end View
The question is will they make enough money in fares to clear a reasonable profit over the cost of installing and operating the collection system? Also, what sort of on-board collection did they have pre-1997?
  by R36 Combine Coach
Prior to July 4, 1997 the fare program was similar to MNCR or LIRR: conductors collected cash fares on board trains, tokens and multi-ride tickets were also accepted. Some stations had token vending machines until 1997 and part-time ticket sales (weekday mornings) before then.
  by Forest Glen
Are there that many intra-island riders to justify charging fares? If someone is traveling to Manhattan then they'll eventually have to pay a fare anyway.
  by XBNSFer
lostsoul wrote: Sun Mar 14, 2010 5:23 pm If all the other boroughs have to pay then Staten island should be no exception
If all the other boroughs have direct rail connections to the rest of the city then Staten island should be no exception

There, fixed it for you.
  by Jeff Smith