Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Amtrak Northeast Corridor pricing scam for Philly-NYC commuters?

Here's a YouTube video of what I believe is a Philly-NYC commuter noting what seems to be the dubious ticket pricing practices of Amtrak. The NEC commuters are getting shafted by the Amtrak pricing policies he claims which I agree with. He notes that a one way rush hour ticket (train #137 for example) purchased the day of from NYC to Philly costs more than the fare to Washington DC!?! Another example - train #180 Amtrak pricing; Washington to NYC is $69 while Philadelphia to NYC is $83! These seem absurd.

Here's another YouTube video the same guy did with his comments on Amtrak trying to destroy NEC commuters. And this is a good one of his: Amtrak Caught Faking Ticket Shortage to Gouge Philly Riders. Amtrak does look to be scamming those that go to Philadelphia from NYC. Maybe this mostly gouges business travelers who don't price shop as much as regular commuters. Amtrak has the right to set ticket prices in a manner that maximizes money and I applaud this. My concern is over how this impacts the pricing of Smart passes. Philly-NYC pricing seem inflated but the discount, by law, Amtrak can apply to Smart passes is a max 50% discount. So these higher standard prices likely result in higher prices for commuter passes. I hope Amtrak revisits commuter pricing for the Philly-NYC folks, we pay our fair share, you don't need to gouge us.

A moral of the story here is, when possible, buy single trip tickets to a stop South of 30th Street Station and just get of at 30th Street and save a bunch of money.


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