The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is considering a 25-cent hike on beer, wine, and liquor sold by bar cars and platform carts. If the increase goes through, beers on the LIRR could cost as much as $4.75, and a glass of wine on Metro-North as much as $5.75. Metro-North riders also would pay more for spring water and soda.
A committee vote is scheduled for Monday on the proposal.
There are those who don’t like the idea of alcoholic beverages being sold on the train no matter the price. A move spearheaded by one MTA board member in 2007 came close to obtaining a ban after it was revealed that about 300 people were ticketed for alcohol-related infractions in 2006 on the two rail lines. That push was defeated.
In August, rider protests on Metro-North’s Connecticut trains slated for alcohol prohibition convinced rail officials decide instead to gradually replace out-of-date bar cars with new ones. The new design will look more like a sit-down pub on wheels than the current wide-open design with benches along the sides, according to floor plans circulated by the Connecticut Department of Transportation.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Metro-North’s New Haven Line will take delivery of 300 new cars over the next three years to replace part of its aging fleet. Originally, no new bar cars were included. Some bar cars date to the 1970s. “Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell is asking the state’s bond commission to approve $226 million in borrowing to buy 80 more new railcars — seven of which will have their rows of seats stripped out and turned into rolling bars,” the Journal quoted a state spokesman as saying.
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