July 23, 2012

N.Y. MTA expands validity of commuter passes

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is set to extend the validity of one-way and round-trip tickets on its commuter railroads — Metro-North Railroad (MNR) and the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) — 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 10-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 checks.

The MTA anticipates that this change in the validity period will mean an annual loss of about $6 million in revenue to MNR and the LIRR.

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 tickets.

These changes were presented to committees of the MTA board and take effect Sept. 4, 2012.

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