Bar cars returning to Metro-North New Haven line


(WTNH)– If you’re riding a Metro North train and you’d like a drink, you have to buy it before you get on board.

However, that is expected to change. Metro North is bringing bar cars back to the New Haven line. It’s too soon to know exactly what types of food and drinks commuters will be able to buy on the cars, but commuters News 8 spoke with on Monday say they’re on board.

Jim Cameron, founder of the Commuter Action Group, says Metro-North is getting 60 new cars, and ten of those are bar cars.

“Especially at rush hour is when I think commuters will find them most attractive,” he said.

Commuters heading north and south will be able to use the bar cars.

“Sometimes after a long day at work or if you’re about to go to an event you’d probably like to have a few drinks on the train,” said commuter Shawnelle Philo.

The last bar cars went out of service in 2014. Metro-North ridership is now up, and Cameron says the new cars will make it easier for commuters to get a seat on the trains.

Though the Department of Transportation has proposed a fare hike of about 5 percent, Cameron says bar cars have nothing to do with the possible higher ticket prices.

“The fare increase and the new car order are apples and oranges,” he said. “The new cars are going to be paid with bonding; they’re not being paid for with the fare increase.”

The trains with bar cars will run several times a day, including during the evening commute. It’s something that many commuters are looking forward to. Cameron says he doesn’t expect selling alcohol on the trains to be a problem. It’s something Metro-North has done before and is now looking to bring back.

“There was no issue, I think, with what was being served,” said Cameron. “You can buy drinks at Grand Central and carry them onto the train too.”

It’s too soon to know when the new bar cars will be in service. Sources tell News 8 that Governor Dannel Malloy and the DOT are expected to make a formal announcement soon.

We reached out to the DOT, but a spokesperson declined to comment.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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