As of Wednesday, January 13, there is no longer a person selling tickets at the Larchmont station house.
However, Metro North spokeswoman Marjorie Anders said the station house will still be open from 6 am to 2 pm weekdays. A custodian will unlock and close up the house until January 18, after which the responsibility will go to the operator of the new coffee concession, Global Java.
According to Ms. Anders, the concessionaire is Sudhir Patel, who runs the Bronxville stand. He is currently training his employee. In addition to hot and cold beverages, bagels, croissants and yoghurt, the stand will sell newspapers and may add other services in the future.
Riders may purchase tickets at the vending machines on the platform. Or they can order tickets by mail or online for later delivery to their homes. Senior citizens will still be allowed to buy their tickets from a conductor on the train, without paying a penalty.
Larchmont Leaders Angry
Larchmont Trustee Marlene Kolbert was outraged when she heard the news and appalled at the way it was done. “It was a heck of a Christmas present to Larchmont,” she said.
“Not everyone knows the system, ” she said. “Now there won’t be a human being for foreigners or older people. It’s a rider-be-damned attitude.”
At the Larchmont Village Board meeting on Monday, January 11, Mayor Liz Feld said, “We’ve complained loudly to Metro North about this decision, but there’s not much we can do about it.”
Ms. Kolbert said she had also complained about the station house being locked on the weekends. The bathrooms are only accessible when the station house is open.
Why Now? It’s the Economy.
The ticket office was expanded when the station house was rebuilt as part of a $9M renovation from 2004-2006 . Why close the office now?
“The economy was not in the shape it is now,” said Ms. Anders. “This is strictly a budgetary choice – a way to cut our budget, as we must, with a minimal impact on our train service.”
A survey of ticket purchases in Larchmont indicated that only 12% were being made at the ticket window.