Two weeks before Scarsdale’s staffed Metro-North ticket window closed permanently Jan. 25, a printed flyer was posted in the overpass that connects the northbound and southbound sides of the tracks informing residents of the change. The Mount Vernon West and Brewster ticket windows also closed last month.
A Metro-North representative attributed the closures to underutilization and budget constraints. During a four-month period in 2018, more than 90 percent of Scarsdale Metro-North customers purchased tickets from machines at the station.
Without the ticket window, Scarsdale riders have the option to buy tickets at one of the four ticketing machines or on the free MTA eTix mobile app. The four machines are dispersed across the Scarsdale Metro-North station. Two are located in the shelter between the station building and the southbound platform, one near the shelter on that platform and the other on the northbound platform. The machines accept cash, credit cards and debit cards.
Scarsdale riders had mixed responses to the change. Some said they never used the ticketing window; others expressed concern for riders unfamiliar with the ticketing machines or app.
“Personally, it doesn’t affect me at all,” said Beech Hill Road resident Maria Orosz, who buys her 10-trip senior package at Grand Central Terminal. Orosz uses the Scarsdale Metro-North station fortnightly and said she hasn’t visited the ticket window in years.
At any station, Orosz said she would never use the machines. “I don’t like them,” she said. “I like to deal with people. I have to see, feel, know. … The new generation, all they know is this cockamamie push, press, call. They don’t interact with people.”
Terezia Halasz, a Garth Road resident, also buys her tickets at GCT, but worried for senior riders leaving from Scarsdale. “The elderly generation, they are not really good with the machines,” Halasz said. “They still need to have somebody who assists them. That’s my opinion; they should have it open.”
Many riders expressed sympathy for the closure, but conceded they never used the ticket window.
“It’s so much easier,” Marianne Hove, a Morris Lane resident, said of using the app. “I can be running to the train and not have cash and just go.”
She added that she was friendly with the ticket window attendant. “It’s sad that the guy’s not here,” she said. “He was a very nice guy.”
According to Metro-North, there were no layoffs due to the closure; the ticket window attendant was transferred from Scarsdale to another job. Eighty-five percent of Metro-North stations across Metro-North’s service territory (Port Jervis, Pascack Valley, New Haven, Hudson and Harlem lines) do not have ticket windows. Travelers seeking a manned ticket booth can visit Fordham, Bronxville, White Plains and North White Plains stations on the Harlem line.
“It’s sad,” Brookline Road resident Michelle Friedman said of the closure. “It’s the end of an era. [But] I don’t really have the use for it.”