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buying metro north tickets ahead of time

Miami, Florida
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buying metro north tickets ahead of time

Hi...we will be coming from JFK into grand central station to take a metro north train up to Poughkeepsie. It will be a Tuesday afternoon, between 11:30 and 12:30pm. I am wondering if I should buy the Metro North train tickets ahead of time or just get them when we arrive to Grand Central. I would like to minimize on time spent at Grand Central when departing...we will be able to explore and look around when we come back from our few days in the Catskills. We only have a very limited time in the Catskills (two half days and one full) so if anybody has any faster suggestions as to how to get there (woodstock, tannersville, round top areas) please lmk. The price of a rental from JFK was much more expensive then getting to grand central, metro north and renting a car in Poughkeepsie. Thanks so much for any advice.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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1. Re: buying metro north tickets ahead of time

There are plenty of self-service machines, as well as (manned) ticket windows in Grand Central Station, so it will not take too long to buy the tickets, I would wait till then. Just be sure to buy them before you board the train, there is a steep surcharge ($5.75-6.50 PER Ticket!) if you buy your tickets on the train!

New York NY
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for New York City
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2. Re: buying metro north tickets ahead of time

No need to buy tickets in advance. It is quick and efficient at Grand Central.

Worst case scenario, if you're about to miss your train and you have the cash on hand, you can purchase on board but as was just said, the surcharge is designed to discourage that.

Have you looked into renting your car in White Plains? Metro-North has more frequent and faster trains to White Plains. Hertz has a location at the North White Plains station (all local and express trains stop at North White Plains - one stop after White Plains). Hertz is 66 Haarlem Avenue in White Plains - opposite the North White Plains station.

I do not know of any car rentals at the Poughkeepsie station - they all involve yet another taxi ride (as far as I know)

Miami, Florida
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3. Re: buying metro north tickets ahead of time

Thanks for the info. I will check into White Plains...hadn't heard of that before. Is it still a long drive to the Catskills from there? I understood that the train ride was a little scenic and I thought that would be nice. I do have a rental with Enterprise in Poughkeepsie and I am pretty sure they come to the station and pick us up but I will check on that too. Thanks again for the info...its just what I was hoping to find out. :o)

New York City, New...
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4. Re: buying metro north tickets ahead of time

The train ride will be scenic up to Poughkeepsie and Enterprise will pick you up.

Miami, Florida
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5. Re: buying metro north tickets ahead of time

Thank you NY Whiz...I know you are an expert and I appreciate your advice.

Melbourne, Australia
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6. Re: buying metro north tickets ahead of time

The ride up to Poughkeepsie is quite spectacular....look ou for the Northern tip of Manhattan, the Palisades and the George Washington Bridge....

Sit on the left side of the train

The caverns the train travels through when it first leaves Grand Central Terminal are vaet and eerie

New York NY
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7. Re: buying metro north tickets ahead of time

Yes - the train ride to Poughkeepsie is scenic. I've taken the train between New York and Albany so many times, I'm kind of over it but yes, if you've never done it before, it is quite spectacular.

I've never rented from Enterprise - I get such fantastic discounts and rewards with Hertz, I almost always rent from Hertz. Sometimes Alamo / National and sometimes Dollar. I rent from Avis / Budget for work. Never done Enterprise. I hear from everybody that they come and pick you up but I just get myself to Hertz - apparently they'll come and pick you up too (but again I've never used that service)

I like the White Plains location. You get on I-684 and cross the Newburgh - Beacon Bridge (you'll see it from the train if you stick with the Poughkeepsie plan). You'd take the Thruway up from Newburgh if you picked the car up in White Plains.

It gives you options. It sounds like you'll enjoy the train. At least you know your options.

Miami, Florida
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8. Re: buying metro north tickets ahead of time

@MoreFFmiles...thanks for the help and info. It was all very helpful. I have a costco membership and usually find them to be the cheapest rates. I will check around though. I do appreciate the info so that I can make an informed decision.

9. Re: buying metro north tickets ahead of time

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