FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — Fairfield County commuters taking Metro-North trains to New York or between stations in Connecticut can expect to pay higher fares beginning this week.
The 6 percent train fare increase goes into effect beginning Thursday, Dec. 1. There will also be an increase in bus fares from $1.50 to $1.75, or 16.7 percent for CTTransit.
Train riders can still take advantage of old prices by buying tickets ahead of time.
The fare increase was announced earlier this year to cover $37 million in state budget cuts to the Department of Transportation. A series of public hearings were held across the state where nearly 400 people offered input on the fare hikes, according to DOT.
The rail fare increase will apply to Metro-North's New Haven Line and Shore Line East. The current 2 percent discount on “Mail and Ride” tickets will be eliminated. The discount on the combined monthly rail ticket and unlimited-ride MetroCard will be reduced from 4 percent to 2 percent beginning with the purchase of December tickets.
In addition, WebTicket sales will no longer be available as of Dec. 1.
In a letter to commuters, Commuter Action Group founder Jim Cameron offered several tips on how travelers can "hack the hike" by buying tickets before the fare increases go into effect.
"Ten-trip tickets are good for six months. Buy as many as you think you and your family can use in that period. The ten-trips can be used by anyone and shred if you're traveling in a group," Cameron wrote. "One-way tickets are good for up to 60 days. Again, don't buy more than you can use."
Cameron added that monthly tickets can't be bought in advance, so commuters will have to pay the new rate at the first of the month. He also pointed out that WebTickets offer an additional discount of 2 to 5 percent over prices at ticket machines, and encouraged commuters to take advantage of the bargain before WebTickets are discontinued on Dec. 1.
He reminded commuters that refunds on unexpired tickets cost $10, so riders shouldn't buy more than they know they'll use.
"This is all perfectly legal and happens every time there's a fare hike. Share this with your fellow commuters and lock in those savings before December 1st," Cameron said.
The bus fare increase, effective Dec. 4, will apply to the eight CTTransit service areas, including Stamford, Hartford, New Haven, Waterbury, Bristol, New Britain, Wallingford and Meriden, as well as to CTFastrak.
Exact fare prices on trips from stations on the New Haven line to New York can be found by clicking here . Intermediate fares to Greenwich can be found here and intermediate fares to Stamford can be found here .
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