NEW YORK -- Peak fares are returning on the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North after they were suspended in the early days of the pandemic.
While some riders seemed unaware of the impending changes, the MTA will offer some new discounts, CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reported Friday.
"I never heard about it, first time, and I take the rail road everyday," one person said.
Beginning March 1, the MTA will resume charging higher fares during peak travel times.
Although peak fares are back, Metro-North and the LIRR are offering some new money-saving plans:
- A 20-trip ticket with 20 percent savings.
- Monthly passes with 10 percent savings.
- $5 fares for all off-peak travel within New York City stations.
- CLICK HERE for more information
"I'm very grateful that senior pass hasn't gone up," a rider said.
"I'm kind of confused on why they chose to do it now," said another.
The ticket discounts are an attempt to boost lagging ridership.
"We did add trains in January, but again we're still at that 45, 47 percent of ridership. So until those numbers come up, we can't add more trains," said MTA Chief Customer Officer Sarah Meyer.
Commuters said if they are paying more during rush hour, it's unfair to feel like sardines.
"Shoulder to shoulder, packed with a bunch of other people," a rider said.
The Commuter Council is advising riders to use the LIRR app to find the least crowded cars, since many refuse the middle seat.
The MTA is also offering subway riders free, unlimited trips for the rest of the week after their 12th ride using OMNY, the contactless payment system. CLICK HERE for more information
Meanwhile, commuter rail riders want the MTA's safety push expanded to include them. On Feb. 16, a 20-year-old West Babylon man was shot and killed on a train in Ronkonkoma.
Some want increased patrols on platforms and trains.
"I don't like standing on the platforms," said Carolyn Robson. "I'm always watching my back."
In response to the safety concerns, an MTA spokesperson said, "MTA Police officers routinely patrol all branches of the LIRR and starting late last year the MTAPD surged additional patrols on board trains to further enhance security."