It is our goal to provide transportation for persons of all ages. Nonetheless, to safely use the commuter rail system, customers must be able to understand written signs and displays, such as those which show train destinations and track numbers, and to follow instructions issued verbally by employees or over the public address systems in station and on trains. Riders should also have the maturity to be able to react to unexpected situations that may arise in any transportation system, such as train delays, cancellations or other service disruptions. For these reasons, MTA Metro-North Railroad recommends that children under the age of 8 be accompanied by an adult or a responsible youth (at least 12 years old) when riding its trains.
Children age 8 and above may ride alone, but we strongly suggest the following:
- Children should carry identification showing their name, address, home phone number and the name and phone number of the person who will be meeting them.
- Parents and guardians should review the details of the trip with their child prior to travel, including the name of the line they will be riding and the station where they will be getting on and off the train. For young children, this information should be given to the child in writing, as there are a number of stations with similar names, and a small child may get confused in the excitement of traveling.
- Since many of our stations have two or more platforms and multiple stairways and exits, make sure that you establish a specific location at the station where your child will be met.
- No child should be traveling unaccompanied during late night hours.
The most important point is to make sure that the child knows that if they have any questions or problems, they should look for a police officer or railroad employee in uniform.
Metro-North station and on-board employees are charged with providing safe and reliable service for all of our customers. They cannot neglect these responsibilities in order to monitor unaccompanied children. You should not expect our ticket agents and customer service representatives to ensure that children board the correct train, nor expect conductors to provide supervision for children on trains and to put the child off at their destination station.
When there is a major incident that results in the cancellation of train service for an extended period of time, it is our policy to turn unaccompanied children over to the MTA Police. We will not knowingly allow a young child traveling alone to board buses or the subway when these forms of alternate transportation are provided. If you are meeting an unaccompanied child and are told that train service is suspended, we suggest you first call the Customer Information Center or go to the Station Master's Office in Grand Central Terminal for further information regarding the nature and duration of the service disruption. If you are informed that unaccompanied children are being cared for by the MTA Police, you may contact the Police Department at 888-MTAPD911.