Thursday, August 20, 2009

Amtrak Extends Fare Promotion on Northeast Regional Service through December 16 2009

Fares for regional trains along the NEC will maintain their 25% reduced price through December 16. Reservations are required and must be made 14 days in advance of travel. Not sure who makes Amtrak reservations 14 days in advance; rarely would I make reservations even the day before, not even for Thanksgiving or XMas travel would I make 14 day advance reservations but nonetheless this is a nice discount.


  • The thing with those tickets for commuters is, if you have a semi-predictable schedule, you can buy way in advance and then just exchange for other trips as necessary.

    The rock-bottom advance fares are not refundable, but they are exchangeable for future travel if you don't use it, so it's not like you're wasting your money by booking in advance.

    With regular refundable tickets its even easier - as long as you haven't printed out the ticket yet, you can cancel and refund your ticket right from

    A decent approach for using amtrak for a philly-nyc commute is to purchase your tickets 14+ days ahead to get the cheap rates, and then also buy a 10-trip (good for 45 days). That way, if you miss one of your pre-purchased trains, or if you have to catch a train you didn't anticipate, you use the 10 trip to fill in the gaps, and exchange your missed ticket for a future date. Unless you're really making 10 trips a week, this works out being cheaper enough than the monthly pass to be worth the hassle.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:09 PM, August 24, 2009  

  • If you know your commute plans for the month then buying as you suggest is the most cost efficient way. A 10 trip is $512 and an unlimited is $1,152.00 so the fare discount for individual trains purchased 2 weeks in advance has not lowered the multi ride pass prices. Amtrak based the smart pass on the price of one way tickets as per the rules mandated by congress so it would've been nice if they lowered the smart pass price a bit during the fare special time period too. I mean you buy a monthly pass and at least half your travel would be 2 weeks in the future so why wouldn't the price break apply for these customers too?

    I cherished the flexibility the smart passes gave me as I could board any regional train I wanted. I paid a premium for this convenience but hey, you always pay for convenience.

    By Blogger Amtrak Track, at 9:17 PM, August 26, 2009  

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