Gazette Ceases Publication: Donates Archives to LHS

In 2010, the Larchmont Gazette ceased publication. In 2011 the publishers donated all contents to the Larchmont Historical Society, which will continue to make the Gazette archives available online.

All inquiries should be addressed to the Larchmont Historical Society.

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Larchmont Station: Ticket Window Shut, Coffee Shop Opening

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.

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11 comments to Larchmont Station: Ticket Window Shut, Coffee Shop Opening

  • Foreign resident

    I am sure there are not-for-profit organizations who are already providing non-English speakers (I trust that this is what Ms Kolbert mean by “foreigners”, many of which speak better English than “citizens”) and technology-challenged (young and old, what is this pre-conception that older people cannot handle an ticket-machine) with the help they need to navigate a ticket-machine. If not, a quick session at the Library can be arranged, I’m sure.

    • Who Me?

      There won’t be a human being for foreigners or older people?

      LOL – what about middle aged or fat people? And don’t forget skinny and little people, yellow, red, white and black. And tax cheats too!!

      Mrs. Kolbert is so right, We ALL need Human Beings!!

      But seriously, did anyone tell her that fighting Metro North is like fighting a brick wall? It’s the closest thing the City has come to Union driven socialism. Metro North only makes changes for Metro North. Always has and Always will be the same. You may as well count on winning the lottery before you’ll ever win against those folks. Forget it.

  • Penny Oberg

    On the first day of a personless station, the machines were not able to take credit cards–cash only. Not a good start Metro North.

  • TWNMamkRes

    The machines are multi-lingual

  • Sandy Goodman

    I think this is a good thing. I rarely use the ticket window. I use the machine and I drink coffee. Works for me!!
    Sandy Goodman

  • Bemused

    Closing the ticket office is hardly a disaster for service. It does raise questions about the waste of money in the renovation on the first place (didn’t the village or the county contribute?).
    It was always questionable to spend money to build the waiting room and ticket office as is. A bigger bridge could have made a much more accessible waiting room and ticket booth (or just machines) which could have served both tracks and would not need to be locked (bathrooms could have been put in a different place). Nor was there any need to install electronic display boards; there is never any doubt where the trains are going, the conductors repeat destinations as you board, and the public address system announces delays and schedule changes (still).
    So at vast cost we got a useless , very nicely appointed ticket booth, a not very big waiting room on one track only which is closed half the day and a bunch of useless electronic signs. The platforms are better but the shelter on the Stamford side does not extend the whole way so you get wet leaving the train – hardly a genius of planning.
    No wonder MTA is struggling financially.

  • Anon E Mous

    Again, Bemused is correct. Probably not a well-connected politician, but instead a real thinker.

    Given that now the waiting room exists, the expense of building it was incurred, the electrical and communications networks necessary to process tickets and credit cards put in place, why couldn’t the MTA leave it open for extended hours, locate a ticket machine there and if needed an internet based camera to monitor the area for security so customers could gain some comfort from the expense.

    As Vic Sussman and Kenan Pollack said, ‘The message for business people contemplating their place in cyberspace is simple and direct: get linked or get lost.’

  • Redacted

    I used to commute daily to NYC, and got my monthly tickets via mail. So I didn’t interact too often with the person at the ticket counter. However, on the odd times that I did, I have to say that the woman who worked the Larchmont ticket office (I don’t know her name) was one of the nicest, cheeriest people you could meet. . . She always had a smile and was a pleasure to deal with. . It IS nice to deal with a person if you have a problem or question, and it was great that the Larchmont station had such a pleasant person in that position.

    Metro-North is a great example of what happens when there is no competition in an industry. Who else are you going to ride into the city? Don’t like they way they do things? You can always drive in to NYC. . . that’s the choice. . .

    Some time ago my wife and I decided to go into the city to see a movie that was not playing anywhere else. My wife used my son’s monthly ticket, (he was a student at the time at Cooper Union, but commuted from home) and I used mine. When the conductor came by for tickets, he noticed that my wife’s ticket was marked “M” for male. . .he admonished her, and marked the ticket so that if it was “misused” again, it would be confiscated.

    Now, that monthly ticket was paid for by my son. . .it wasn’t like we stole it, or were gaming the system.

    Additionally, during my almost 7 years commuting into the city, I had OFTEN had either hot trains (in the summer), cold ones (in the winter), delayed trains, canceled trains, or trains that ran late. . In all of these cases, I never received any rebate on my hefty monthly ticket. The message from MN is clear: Tough luck! We’re the only game in town. We’ll do whatever we want.

    Oh well, every dog has it’s day. . . when technology changes, or the situation in NYC becomes such that it is no longer so popular as a business center, or other circumstances arise that cuts deeply into ridership, perhaps MN will be forced to become more “user-friendly”. . . sad to think that this is what it takes to get their attention. . .

    • Dan

      I agree with most of this. However, FWIW, I’m afraid trying to use someone else’s monthly pass actually is “gaming” the system. The conditions of purchase state clearly that it is issued to one person only and can’t be shared or used by others (not even your mom, as well-intentioned as that may be).

  • Larchmonter

    what concerns me more are those not able to buy monthly on the computer – domestic and day workers who commute from Mount Vernon or the Bronx who either don’t have a credit card or access to a computer, or don’t have the money to ante up for a monthly ticket. That is Marjorie Ander’s (spokeswoman for MetroNorth) to this issue. As usual it is the really little guy who gets hit the worst. The executive buys online and saves a few bucks. the struggling hourly worker doesn’t have that option and pays more. If you employ someone who commutes to your home or place of work, this is a conversation you should have.

  • Bemused

    The machines take cash also and the people who never had the money for a monthly are in exactly the same condition as before…..