Beginning on Jan. 13, riders will no longer have the option of purchasing Metro-North Railroad tickets at the Chappaqua train station booth.
It is one of 17 that will be closed due to the need to have a balanced budget, according to Marjorie Anders, a spokeswoman for the railroad. She said that Chappaqua and the other station ticket offices were selected because their sales were low compared to the sales at ticket vending machines.
The affected windows' percentage of ticket sales range from 17 to 22 percent, Anders estimated, although she did not have specific numbers for Chappaqua to provide for publication.
Despite the loss of the ticket windows, none of the affected workers will be unemployed.
"The important thing to note, no one, none of these ticket sellers will lose their job. We have retained a few vacancies so that they will be able to select other jobs and no one is being laid off," Anders said.
While ticket vending machines will be the remaining choice, Anders said they offer many conveniences for users, adding that they read multiple languages – including Braille – and take cash, credit and debit cards. She also compared their convenience to the rise of automated teller machines at banks.
"It's analogous to the banks 25 years ago. Used to be everybody who wanted to go to a bank and get your money had to stand in line and wait for a teller," she said.
Riders offered their opinions on the matter.
"I've never used it before, so it doesn't really affect me," said Chappaqua resident Joshua Dreisacker, who usually picks up a monthly pass by machine at Grand Central Terminal instead.
"I don't think it's a problem," said Peter DeMeo of Cold Spring Harbor, NY. "Especially if it keeps the costs of the fares down at least for the time being as a cost-cutting measure I think it's fine."
DeMeo said that he has ridden both Metro-North and the Long Island Rail Road, its commuter rail counterpart on Long Island. He also said that he typically buys tickets at vending machines.
However, one rider raised concerns about the reliability of the vending machines.
Katy Marcus, who lives in Manhattan and whose parents are Chappaqua residents, said she has had problems in the past with machines both at subway and Metro-North stations, and was concerned about who would be around to fix them.