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Commuters React to Metro North Fare Hike

Increase to take effect Jan. 1

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Stamford, CT | Added on December 31, 2013 At 05:32 PM

At the start of a new year, Metro North riders can expect a new ticket cost.

New Haven line fares will increase by 5 percent, taking effect January 1, 2014.

"A lot of people using the rail are trying to, are cutting back on using their car, their vehicles.  So they're looking at some means of lessening the burden of transportation," said Ronnie Carson, a Stamford resident and commuter.  

But it's not just the expense increase.  After a year filled with train troubles, Carson says safety is a bigger concern.

"Sometimes there's not even enough distribution of rail service to accommodate the commuters and you got people that are still standing in the aisles," said Carson.  "If a train does get into an accident  and you got people standing in the aisles, somebody's going to get hurt."

Rail commuter advocate Jim Cameron says the price jump was expected and included in the budget for 2012-2014.  But with all the 2013 Metro North incidents, Cameron says this year's fare increase timing is unfortunate.  

"Service has seriously deteriorated this year since the May derailment and collision.  The trains have been running slower and slower because the railroad has what they call 'slow orders' to make the trains safer, which was obviously the right thing to do," said Jim Cameron.

He says one way commuters can avoid the increase is purchasing 10-trip tickets today, pre-fare-hike.  

"You can buy those online, you can buy them at a train station or Grand Central and they're good for six months," said Cameron.  

But some commuters say they're not worried by the increase.  

"Five percent increase.  No big deal.  It's better than the gas mileage," said another commuter.  

The increase will affect ticket prices between Connecticut and New York and between Connecticut stations.  

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