Home Metro-North Refunds may be on tap as New Haven Line to be at 50 percent for another week

Refunds may be on tap as New Haven Line to be at 50 percent for another week

by Benjamin Kabak

I’ve been in Houston all weekend watching Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte close out their spectacular careers while the painful 2013 Yankee season drew to a merciful close, and I only now just realized that the service advisories never went up on Friday evening. My apologies for the oversight. I could try to make it up to you by bringing home by bringing home one of the eight billion parking lots that mars the face of Downtown Houston and has otherwise made it a ghost time after offices close up shop for the weekend, but I’m not sure I could fit them in my suitcase.

Anyway, joking aside, I have a variety of updates for those Metro-North New Haven Line riders itching to get back to a normal routine. Service is still not yet back to normal, but the MTA hopes to offer service for approximately half of its regular weekday customers. Still, the agency is urging those who can to travel outside of the rush hour and utilize some park-and-ride spaces in Westchester County and the Bronx, if possible. Considering how Joe Lhota has been pushing park-and-ride as a major piece of his transportation platform, we may see this week just how it all works out.

“Con Edison’s temporary substation allows us to run very limited electric trains through this critical section of the New Haven Line for the first time since power was disrupted last week, but it’s still far less than the normal service our customers expect,” MTA Chair and CEO Tom Prendergast said. “While Con Edison works to restore full power to their damaged feeder cables, the MTA is doing everything it can to accommodate New Haven Line customers on other services.”

The full schedule and all of the details are available in the trip finder on the MTA’s website. The current plan will remain in effect up to and including October 7, when Con Ed estimates it will finish repairs on the feeder cable its own crews knocked out of service last week. The MTa explained that the reduced schedule is a result of the temporary repairs made along an eight-mile section of track between Harrison and Mount Vernon. The limited power supply means that only two electric trains can operate at one time and only under very limited loads. These trains will run express along that stretch of rail as accelerating draws the most power. Diesel trains will provide additional service.

Furthermore, nearly 8600 parking spaces at Orchard Beach, near Yankee Stadium, near Rye Playland and at the Kensico Dam in Valhalla will allow riders to stash their cars and hop on a shuttle bus. It’s not ideal, but it’s a start.

Meanwhile, the MTA is considering refunds for New Haven Line customers (though I question if Con Ed should be the ones fiscally responsible). Prendergast says he will make a “strong recommendation” to the MTA Board to allow for refunds or credits for those with monthly or weekly tickets. In the past, the agency has eschewed refunds, and recently, for instances, Metrocard holders were unable to draw a refund or see added time added to their cards in the aftermath of the extensive Sandy shutdowns last year. But under pressure from Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy, agency officials have reconsidered their stance. We’ll see where this goes.

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Patrick @ The LIRR Today September 30, 2013 - 12:50 am

It will be interesting to see what they do with the refunds. Personally, I think Metro-North should give commuters the value of their tickets at 5:22am Wednesday morning and not a penny more. At that point in the month, all monthlies and almost all weeklies are worthless anyways, so it’s not really worth it. But after all, they are still using Metro-North’s services, so part of me thinks they shouldn’t get anything.

But we shall see if the MTA gives into the politicians or not.

Patrick @ The LIRR Today September 30, 2013 - 12:55 am

And for any of those wondering how Metro-North/LIRR normally calculates the refunds for monthly/weekly tickets, it more or less works like this: when you turn in your ticket you forfeit the discount and the refund is calculated based on how much you would have spent if you hadn’t gotten the monthly/weekly. For each weekday you have the ticket they deduct one full peak round-trip fare, and for each weekend day they deduct one off-peak round-trip fare. Then, if there’s anything else left, you pay the $10 processing fee and you get the rest back.

Monthlies usually pay for themselves in 12-13 days, and you break even on weeklies around 3.5 days.

Dan September 30, 2013 - 1:24 am

Personally, I love parking lots. They make life so much easier. I’m way more likely to go to a place here in Brooklyn if it has a parking lot. Parking lots save so much time as opposed to looking for tiny spots to parallel park into.

VLM September 30, 2013 - 1:43 am

There’s no way this is a real comment here, right? You know what would happen if you had the same level of parking lots in Brooklyn as in Downtown Houston? Those shops wouldn’t exist. When everything is turned into parking, as in Houston, there is no street life and so little mixed use development. No one, and particularly no one in Brooklyn, should love parking lots. Come on.

Dan September 30, 2013 - 5:02 pm

I don’t really like living here anyways, I’d rather drive everywhere than take public transit. I know the whole parking lot thing would never work in NYC, which is why I’m moving down south in a year or two. I never particularly cared about street life, either. Give me a Walmart and some chain diners and I’ll be happy.

AlbuterolGonzales September 30, 2013 - 5:27 pm

No WAY is this guy real. From his linked blog: “What’s even more annoying are the people who voted for Obama based solely on his skin color, without knowing a single word of his policies. Ignorant voting like that has to be stopped somehow, otherwise it becomes just a racial thing rather than based on actual qualifications.

There are two small bits of good news though: 1. This is Obama’s second and last term. Even if he tries to get rid of the term limit, he would never be able to gain Congressional approval to do it. 2. The House Of Representatives still has a solid Republican majority, so hopefully they can help prevent dreadful pieces of legislation (like Obamacare) from passing. Obama won’t get anything done in the coming four years, but that’s still far better than allowing him to get things done. Because Obama getting things done means destroying the USA with his idiotic reforms.”

AlbuterolGonzales September 30, 2013 - 5:29 pm

“My real license should be arriving in the mail sometime this or next week, and I can’t wait. Getting a driver’s license has long been a milestone for the youth of America, and it feels pretty great to finally have mine. Especially when you consider just how annoying it is to get one in NYC, what with all the terrible drivers and endless paperwork.”


Dan September 30, 2013 - 6:31 pm

I’m totally real though, deal with it. I’m a bit of an anomaly here in NY, but whatever.

JMB September 30, 2013 - 8:11 pm

His blog states his age at 19….still a child. I still remember when getting a license and driving was the be-all, end-all accomplishment.

Let life put some mileage on him, im sure the error of his naive comments will eventually come.

Also, I can’t hate on him too much: he noticed that the recent iphone platform was a blatant rip off of what android users have been enjoying for some time now. So, he’s got that going for him.

Dan October 1, 2013 - 2:38 pm

Oh wow, I’ve gotta update that about page already. I’m 21 now.

Patrick @ The LIRR Today September 30, 2013 - 1:27 pm

If you were to take every commuter who commutes into the city on Public Transportation (excluding those who commute within the city on subways or buses) and put them into cars, you would need a parking lot that’s about 25% the size of Manhattan to fit all of them. That’s almost 8.5 square miles of parking lots if I’m doing my calculations correctly. That’s a lot of parking lots.

John-2 September 30, 2013 - 8:48 am

Houston was the first major city to essentially create a second downtown based near a high-income area on it’s interstate loop, back in the 1960s on the west side of town, about the same time the Astrodome was built on the south loop. It’s one of the main reasons why Houston’s downtown is dead on nights and weekends, because all the shopping and restaurants migrated out of the area over 40 years ago, to be near both the residences and the newer office complexes (the new-ish light rail line does run from downtown to near the current site of the ‘Dome, which is virtually unused, and neighboring Reliant Stadium, which had traffic fouled up for miles on Sunday due to the Texans-Seahawks football game).

Tower18 September 30, 2013 - 2:44 pm

To be fair to dysfunction, Detroit did this to itself probably 20 years before Houston became a city worth mentioning. Actually, if you want to get pedantic, Detroit did this to itself twice before the 1950s (once with the New Center business district in the 1920s, and once again with the development of Northland Mall and its siblings in the late 40s and early 50s).

Larry Littlefield September 30, 2013 - 9:09 am

“In the past, the agency has eschewed refunds, and recently, for instances, Metrocard holders were unable to draw a refund or see added time added to their cards in the aftermath of the extensive Sandy shutdowns last year.”

Pendergast should at least demand that the Connecticut and New York legislatures pass bills explicitly stating that in the wake of losses in service New York City residents are entitled to nothing, but rensidents of the suburbs are entitled to refunds, because city residents are worth less.


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