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Commuter Woes Continue For Thousands Of LIRR, Metro-North Riders After Computer Glitch

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The MTA is urging riders to buy new monthly MetroCards after a computer glitch caused problems for thousands of Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road commuters.

Riders whose monthly railroad pass doubles as a MetroCard on the subway received a message Monday saying "insufficient fare" when they swiped their cards at Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal.

"Because of a technical problem with the coding for the monthly unlimited MetroCards that are on the back side of the monthly tickets for Long Island Rail Road customers and Metro-North customers, the MetroCard portion is not working at turnstiles or on buses," said Aaron Donovan of the MTA.

Commuter Woes Continue For Thousands Of LIRR, Metro-North Riders After Computer Glitch

The MTA said the glitch has impacted some 7,100 LIRR ticket holders and 2,800 Metro-North ticket holders.

"Nothing surprises me with these guys," said commuter Jeff Kelly. Am I angry? Sure."

"I'm so angry," said commuter Julia Gonzalez. "I can't go to my work. I'm late."

The MTA told commuters to purchase brand new, unlimited 30-day MetroCards on Tuesday if they have not done so already.

On Tuesday, frustrated riders were lining up to buy their new cards.

"It's a hassle," John Hall told CBS2's Scott Rapoport.

Commuters were coughing up another $112 out of pocket for a card they thought they already paid for.

Those commuters will not be charged for the defective cards that were sent to them.

The MTA said it would also issue a credit or any additional subway fare the straphangers paid for on Monday. They were invited to apply for reimbursement in person or online.

Donovan said the MTA was working to make sure the glitch does not occur again.

"We are taking every step we can to ensure that there are a system of cross checks and controls put in place to ensure that this error does not happen again," he said.

"We recognize this is an inconvenience," the MTA said in a statement. "We appreciate your patience and apologize for the error."

For railroad commuters who already pre-paid for their monthly metrocards, the MTA said the billing date isn't until December 3. They will be billed $112 on their account, but the charges will be reversed and riders will receive a credit of $119.

It's a net gain of $7, a courtesy for any fares and inconvenience incurred from the snafu.

"There's no need to file any paper work, no need to call our customer representatives, because it will all be done automatically," Donovan said.

For more information on the glitch from the LIRR, click here. For more information on the glitch from Metro-North, click here.

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