RYE, N.Y. – Initial monthly pass fares for Rye and Port Chester commuters were poised to price higher than Greenwich, Conn., come March, until the Metropolitan Transportation Authority reached an agreement with the neighboring state.
Connecticut Commuter Rail raised monthly passes for Greenwich commuters on Jan. 1 to $263, a rate that would have been $6 lower than projected Rye and Port Chester fares. Railroad fares are distance-based and typically, it would cost more to commute from Greenwich to New York City than from Port Chester or Rye.
However, commuters in both New York municipalities were expected to pay $269 come March, when MTA fare and toll increases are expected to go into effect. The current rate for a monthly pass for Rye and Port Chester commuters is $247.
Instead, this March, Rye and Port Chester commuters will pay $16 more for a monthly pass to match the $263 monthly fare that Greenwich commuters pay. By holding down the fare at Rye and Port Chester, commuters at either station will not be tempted to purchase a Greenwich ticket.
“The hold-down is a mechanism that helps make the fare structure more consistent, even though there are two separate organizations that set fare levels in different portions of the railroad,” said MTA Media Liaison Aaron Donovan. “The same thing can happen west of the Hudson River, where Metro-North works with New Jersey Transit to provide service across state lines on the Pascack Valley Line and the Port Jervis Line.”
Since fares in Connecticut are set by Connecticut, if a rate is set lower than fares within New York, Connecticut Commuter Rail will provide the MTA with compensation for doing so. Donovan says the MTA expects Connecticut will provide approximately $300,000 in compensation this year.