Metro-North fares increase with new year

A 5% fare hike goes into effect on Metro-North’s New Haven Line, on Wednesday, Jan. 1.

The increase affects tickets that include travel to or from any Connecticut station and some travel on the line between Rye and Port Chester, N.Y.

Tickets bought before Jan. 1, will be honored for up to six months, depending on the type of ticket.

“Though many commuters may be surprised by this fare increase, the actual decision to raise rates took place in 2011,” State Sen. Toni Boucher said. “The issue of raising rail fares was hotly debated by many of us in Hartford and throughout the district. I did not support it due to lack of assurances that the additional funds would not be diverted and would lead to rail service improvements.”

The increase was eventually instituted by the state Department of Transportation, which owns the New Haven Line, under the direction of Governor Malloy in the first year of his administration, Boucher, the ranking Republican on the General Assembly’s Transportation Committee.

From Fairfield: One-way peak tickets are $15.75, raising to $16.54; off peak tickets are $11.75, raising to $12.34; weekly tickets are $109, raising to $114.45; and monthly tickets are $341, raising to $358.05.

“This fare increase is the third in nine years,” James P. Redeker, the state Department of Transportation commissioner, said this month. “During that time, operating expenses continued to grow due to inflation and service has been increased on weekdays and weekends on both the New Haven Line and Shore Line East. We held several hearings throughout the state prior to adopting the phased implementation of fare increases over three years.”

Rail fares were set years ago to increase by about 4% at the beginning of 2012, 2013 and 2014. Then, the General Assembly passed an additional 1% tax to help pay for the M-8 rail cars, which for the past few years have been replacing cars up to 30 years old.

This becomes a compounded average increase of 5.04% for Jan. 1, according to the DOT, for all Connecticut rail fare types, including weekly and monthly UniTickets (combined bus/rail tickets).

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