After initially proposing to prohibit cash transactions on trains, the Long Island Rail Road announced it has decided to shelve its plan temporarily at a Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s LIRR Committee meeting Dec. 16.
Phillip Eng, LIRR president, disclosed at the meeting that the plan would be put on hold until the MTA’s new fare payment system, OMNY, is in place. The system is expected to be implemented into the LIRR and MetroNorth in early 2021.
The plan was meant to save the LIRR money by eliminating several tickets agent positions, as well as close of station ticket offices in Patchogue and Port Jefferson. This is despite recent renovations to the Port Jefferson station, which included additions to the ticket office.
Mederith Daniels, MTA spokesperson, confirmed the two ticket offices would no longer be closing in 2020. She also said the LIRR regularly reassesses customer usage of ticket windows and that the ticket offices could be considered for closure in the future.
the MTA spokesperson said these ticket offices were mainly used for conductor remittances and had a relatively small number of customers utilizing them. At Port Jeff and Patchogue – a full service ticket machine and daily ticket machine are located outside each of the station buildings.
Port Jefferson LIRR station serves 1,375 weekday riders, according to the MTA.
In November, OMNY surpassed three million taps from New York City bus and subway riders as well as riders from the Staten Island Railway.