Home Asides MTA Board approves some form of refund for New Haven Line riders

MTA Board approves some form of refund for New Haven Line riders

by Benjamin Kabak

The MTA Board voted this afternoon to approve some form of ticket credit for riders of Metro-North’s New Haven Line who hold weekly or monthly tickets valid during the current power outage. The railroad has not yet determined how the credit will be structured or when it will be available, but the agency plans to release further information later this week. All in all, the credit is expected to cost the MTA approximately $2 million per week in lost revenue, and it is likely that the agency will seek to recoup costs from Con Edison.

“Because of the unprecedented magnitude and duration of this disruption, the MTA Board has concluded that a credit for our customers is simply the right thing to do,” MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas Prendergast said in a statement. “I want to thank my fellow board members for taking swift action to address this situation while we work to support Con Edison in restoring full power to the line.”

Metro-North, meanwhile, is adding five more peak-hour trains tomorrow, bringing service back to about 65 percent of normal. In my view, that means any credit for tomorrow should top out at 35 percent of the pro-rated value of a ticket. During a press conference this afternoon, MTA officials cautioned that the refund should not set a precedent for future service disruptions, and some board members rightly argued that Metrocard holders should have received a similar credit for Sandy-related outages last year. In the poll I conducted earlier today, those voting for some form of refund eked out a 51-49 win over those voting against any refund.

Meanwhile, for those wondering what to do with their newfound riches sure to total ones or perhaps tens of dollars, why not check out the new Shake Shack in Grand Central Terminal which is opening on Saturday? The burger joint replaces Zocalo and will be forking over rent of around half a million per year for the next ten years with the MTA owed 8 percent of gross sales over a certain threshold amount.

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Theorem Ox October 1, 2013 - 11:42 pm

Looks like Connecticut has more clout and priority over New Yorkers after all. Coming at the bottom of the totem pole is the New York City resident, many who do not use Metro-North’s services and will still be on the hook for paying for all this. Same group of people who did not get the same courtesy during “unprecedented magnitude and duration” of disruptions in the recent past either.

MTA recouping costs from Con Edison? Funny. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the executives having their compensations docked for failing to oversee a proper maintenance regime or shareholders substantially forego their dividends in previous incidents of the sort.

Betcha they’ll push for another general rate hike and “one-time” fee on a random bill with the Public Utility Commission at their earliest convenience.

What recourse will New York City and Westchester residents have in a Con Edison monopoly? Go off the grid? Bend over and pay up!

Larry Littlefield October 2, 2013 - 11:17 am

“What recourse will New York City and Westchester residents have in a Con Edison monopoly?”

The federal, state and local governments are just begging people to put up solar panels, and subsidizing them up the wazoo. But for some reason relatively few people are doing it.

In addition to getting to work by bicycle, I have solar electric power. It is grid-tied, so it goes down too in a power outage, but I’ve locked in my electric power rate for the 25-plus years the panels last.

Some kind of internet enabled assisted homeschooling for the kids might be needed in the future. And you might consider a job in a new firm, rather than aold one that is being pillaged by its high paid executives. Medicare and Social Security? For those who were not “at or over 55” when George W. Bush said those words, your best hope is medical marijuanna followed by legal assisted suicide when you are too old to work anymore.

I have seen the future and am trying to adjust.

LLQBTT October 2, 2013 - 9:04 am

When the L was out for weeks from Sandy, I didn’t receive any refund, and both the causes, Sandy and the power failure are, from an MTA perspective, Force Majeure events.

Just as I had other travel options, so do the MNRNHL riders with shuttle buses, parknrides, Harlem Line, 6 train and so on.

I rode my bike (and thankfully there were no tolls on the Williamsburg Bridge).

Larry Littlefield October 2, 2013 - 11:12 am

“Because of the unprecedented magnitude and duration of this disruption.”

Message from the MTA to New York City residents: get a bicycle. The financial future is not good, disruptions are likely, and the shortage will be divided among the peasants.

Once I had a monthly metrocard. Now I ride a bike most days and go pay per ride on the others. I didn’t miss any work because of Sandy, other than the actual day of the storm.


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