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With ridership rising, the MTA will offer new commuter trains and discounts over the next month

Commuters wait on the platform as a Metro-North train arrives in Bridgeport, Conn.
Craig Ruttle
Commuters wait on the platform as a Metro-North train arrives in Bridgeport, Conn.

Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road customers are on track to get new ticket discounts this month and with more commuter trains scheduled. The aim is to boost ridership on the railroad, which remains almost half of pre-pandemic levels, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Catherine Rinaldi, the president of Metro-North, will take on also leading the LIRR on Saturday. LIRR President Phillip Eng announced his retirement at the beginning of the month after being the head of the commuter line since 2018.

At the MTA board meeting on Tuesday, she said ridership has started to increase with coronavirus cases on the decline.

More trains will be restored on Metro-North to help increase weekday service at the end of next month. The MTA will restore over 60 trains on the New Haven line and other services east of the Hudson River.

“We've been listening to our customers and the message is clear, they want more trains, more seating capacity, as well as faster trips and this is exactly what this service increase will provide," Rinaldi said.

The service change will take effect March 27 to increase weekday service to nearly 90% of pre-pandemic levels.

The discounts, Rinaldi said, will help riders get back on the rail service.

“The Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North both will continue to offer plenty of discounts and deals to riders, peak fares will return to both railroads beginning March 1 but simultaneously we will be launching new ways to save and promote this pilot fare program,” Rinaldi said.

The discounts will be available by the end of February and will last for four months.

Some of the perks include:

  • Monthly ticket holders will receive a 10% discount in peak fare charges
  • A 20-trip ticket option will be available for a 20% discount
  • Railroad customers who live in New York City will have a $5 dollar flat fee for weekday travel in the five boroughs
Clare is a former news fellow with WSHU Public Radio.