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Buying LIRR and Metro-North tickets

Updated Oct 26, 2023
The easiest way to buy tickets for the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad is before you board. Learn more about getting tickets on your phone, from ticket machines, from ticket offices, by mail, through your employer, and onboard trains.

Options for buying tickets

MTA's TrainTime app

With the new TrainTime app for Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North, you can plan a trip, purchase a ticket, get train status and track location, and chat with a customer service representative for either LIRR or Metro-North. 

Download the app on your Apple or Android device to easily buy tickets, manage refunds and receipts, and more. 

At a ticket office

Ticket offices sell all LIRR and MNR ticket types and also offer certain MetroCards. You can pay with cash, credit or debit cards, and some transit benefit cards. For LIRR tickets, you can use a personal check for monthly, weekly, and 10-trip tickets, or five or more one-way tickets.

Ticket office hours are posted at stations.

Onboard trains

Buying tickets onboard is more expensive than other options: They cost $5.75-$6.50 more than tickets purchased before you board. You can only buy one-way tickets onboard.

Off-peak tickets will be "stepped up" to the peak fare when presented on peak trains. Step-up fares and extension-of-ride fares, which are charged for traveling beyond the stations listed on the ticket, will be rounded up to the next dollar.

Through your employer

If your company offers a tax-free transit benefit program, you can use it to buy LIRR or Metro-North tickets.

Note that transit benefit providers are independent of the MTA. If we refund tickets purchased through a pre-tax program, the money will be credited back to the benefit card you used to make the purchase.

At a ticket machine

You can buy different tickets at different machines. Unless otherwise noted, they accept cash (up to $50 bills and coin, returning up to $17.75 in coin change) and credit and debit cards.

  • Gray machines: Buy all ticket types*, $30 MetroCards ($29 value), and UniTickets.
  • Red machines: Buy most types of one-way and round-trip tickets and $30 MetroCards ($29 value). These machines do not sell monthly, weekly, 10-Trip, or package tickets.
  • Blue machines: Buy all ticket types*,  $30 MetroCards ($29 value), and UniTickets. These machines accept only credit and debit cards They do not accept cash.
  • Green machines (LIRR only): Buy all ticket types* and AirTrain MetroCards.

*Group tickets and monthly school tickets cannot be purchased at ticket machines.

Mail&Ride: Monthly ticket subscription

The Mail&Ride program automatically delivers your monthly ticket to the TrainTime app on your mobile phone.

We also have a Mail&Ride program for students. Learn more.

See details and set up Mail&Ride for LIRR and Metro-North.