An Open Letter To:

The MTA.

So, the 11% fare increase and all for us Metro-Northers.

I get it. Times are tough, and you mismanaged your books a bit. What was to be extra tax revenue dispersed and disappeared like sound waves in the night from the horn of a chugging Harlem Line train through Chappaqua.

Someone’s gotta make up the difference.

And it’s been years since you last raised fares! Almost one and a half of them, in fact!

Here’s the deal. If you’re raising fares 11%, then I want my Metro-North experience to be 11% better. That’s fare fair, right?

So my ride into the city each morning is 48 minutes. How about we knock 11% of that time off, and get me in to GCT in just under 43 minutes? Get me home in, oh, 38 minutes instead of my usual 42? A 38 minute commute…it sure has a nice ring to it.

So that Sam Adams on the platform costs, what, $3.50? Whaddya say we knock, oh, 11% off that, and make it $3.15? Throw in a bag of chips as a little thank you for my continued patronage?

Some other aspects of my commuter experience can’t be calculated by math (which is fortunate, because the previous math problems almost killed me). For as long as my fare is 11% more than it is today, I’d like to only come and go in and out of GCT through tracks 20 to 32. None of this way, way west (Track 42? What is this, Weehawken?) or so-far-east-it’s-Lex nonsense, folks. And that dingy basement? Calling the level the “bowels” of Grand Central really only flatters bowels. No.

And while I generally have a favorable experience with your conductors, how about we jack up their personal-pleasance quotient 11%? 11% more smile, 11% more “Good morning”? What if we unlock 11% more of those fabulous folding 1 3/4-seaters that the conductors like to lock in the unusable upright position?

Those are just a few thoughts, MTA; I’m happy to discuss other service improvements.

See it’s not the 11% increase I’m disputing. It’s that you’re considering offering the same service–or less!–while tacking on a double-digit cost hike.

That don’t fly, MTA.

Have a wonderful new year. Enjoy my extra 25 bucks each month.



PS: Enacting the new fare hikes on Dec. 30…you really, truly couldn’t wait till the new year?

This entry was posted in 1-3/4-Seater, Fare Hike, Metro North, MTA and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to An Open Letter To:

  1. harv sibley says:

    Enacting the fare as of 12/30/10 enables them to claim next wk that the rate hike was last yr’s business. I’m not a rail rider but i sympathize with all of you. 11% more because THEY mismanaged expenses, payroll contracts and retirement plans seems a bit bah hum bug

  2. soupcan says:

    “That don’t fly, MTA”

    Unfortunately for all of us commuters it does, in fact, fly.

    They’ve got us by the shorthairs and they know it (and we know it). What are we going to do? Protest? Boycott? “I will NOT ride your trains and go to work until the fare is reduced or service improved!’

    Where would that leave us? Besides the unemployment line I mean.

    There are no other viable options if one lives in the suburbs. Drive in every day? God, no. Forget the cost – gas, tolls, parking, wear & tear – sitting in rush hour traffic twice a day, five days a week was actually the template for the fifth circle of hell. Really. It was.

    Until and unless there is either a competing rail line, express boat service or Star Trek-type transporter technology, we’re all screwed and there’s not a thing we can do.

    Happy friggin’ New Year.

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