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rant

Transit ripoffs

Roughly six months out of the year, I use public transit heavily, so I find it cost-effective to buy a monthly pass. The other six months of the year, it makes more sense to buy a ten-trip ticket or a couple of single-ride tickets that I can use over as long as it takes. Well, up to a year, because they expire after a year.

Sometime in the past year or so, they changed the rule so these ten-trip tickets expire after six months rather than a year, which is apparently just short enough that I've had several tickets expire while I was in monthly-pass mode. (Single-ride tickets now have an even shorter expiration.) The last time this happened, I had to go to the customer service desk and fill out a form to get a refund on my unused punches, minus five or ten dollars "service charge" which is apparently necessary to cover their two minutes' labor to process the form (which wouldn't be necessary if the tickets didn't expire, but never mind that.)

Yesterday I took the train to and from campus, and on the way home the conductor noticed that both of the ten-trips in my wallet had expired, so they were no good and I had to but a ticket onboard for over twice the usual price. So today I went to the customer service desk to get my pitiful partial refund, and was told "these tickets are more than thirty days past expiration; you can't get a refund on them." A rule I had never heard of, and $30-40 worth of tickets have just become scrap paper.

This no longer has any remote connection to the railroad's expenses: it would cost them no more trouble to refund a two-month-expired ticket than a two-week-expired ticket (and even less to just not have the tickets expire at all); it can only be justified as a revenue stream.

Grumble, grumble.

I guess the lesson is that the next time I get a monthly pass, I need to sell or give away any non-monthly tickets I still have; they're unlikely to still be valid the next time I try to use them.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

Comments

I second the grumble grumble...

Your ten-trips are Zone 3 to Zone 4? If so, I might be able to use them and would be glad to pay somebody other than the greedy MTA.

The whole "daily tickets are only good for 14 days" thing means that even if I buy a ticket on a Monday, if I don't use it for two weeks, it's "dead" that third Monday. If I do not have a valid ticket, the $2.75 fare from my job to the A train costs $9.00 on the train =80

Re: I second the grumble grumble...

No, these are Zone 1 to Zone 4. I don't think they do ten-trips that don't say "Zone 1" on them somewhere. Which wouldn't make them any less useful to you; I'll keep you in mind the next time I get a monthly pass (which will be September).

Re: I second the grumble grumble...

Thanks 8) It would be over-paying for trips to and from work, but when I go into Manhattan from work (Sing Thing, the rare dance practice) it'd be perfect.

I keep meaning to go inside at Jamaica and ask the ticket clerk if they have Zone 3 to Zone 4 Ten-Trip tickets. I know the machines and the WebTicket don't.

Edited at 2012-06-07 01:03 pm (UTC)
GRUMP at the railroad!
GRUMP!