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Buying LIRR and Metro-North tickets

Updated Mar 26, 2024
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, through your employer, and on board trains.

Options for buying tickets

MTA's TrainTime app

With the TrainTime app, you can plan a trip, purchase a ticket, get train status and track location, and chat with a customer service representative for LIRR and 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.

On board trains

Buying your ticket on the train will cost $5.75-$6.50 more than the regular price, and you can only buy one-way tickets onboard. This surcharge is waived if you are boarding at a station without ticket machines, or if you are a senior citizen, passenger with a disability, Medicare recipient, or active-duty military.

If you use an off-peak ticket on a peak train, or ride beyond the zones shown on your ticket, you will have to pay an additional fare onboard. This fare is not subject to the on-board surcharge, but will be rounded up to the nearest 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 you 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 coins, 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 phone.

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

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

CityTicket for travel in NYC

If you’re traveling within New York City, you can get a CityTicket for $5 during off-peak hours or $7 during peak hours. You can buy a CityTicket at a ticket office, a ticket machine, or on the TrainTime app on your phone.

When purchasing your tickets at a ticket window or ticket machine, you will be asked for your starting point and destination. If your trip falls within the CityTicket area, you will have the option to purchase a CityTicket.

Far Rockaway Ticket can be purchased at Far Rockaway Station or in TrainTime if you share your location with the app to confirm you are near the station.



  • You cannot buy a CityTicket onboard a train unless you are boarding at Mets-Willets Point, which has no ticket office, or are a senior citizen or a person with a disability.
  • CityTickets must be used on the day of purchase.
  • You have a grace period that allows you to travel until 4 a.m. the next morning for tickets purchased the previous day.