MTA Metro-North Railroad is seeking approval from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board of directors to raise prices for its bar cars and bar carts to keep pace with inflation.
The bartenders, who have always elicited the highest ratings from thousands of Metro-North customers, provided bar car and cart service with a gross income of $5.2 million last year yielding a net income to the railroad of $607,000.
Keeping this commissary service financially viable requires that prices be adjusted as costs to the commissary themselves rise. In addition to the price hike, the railroad is seeking authorization to raise prices each September at the rate of growth in the consumer price index, rounded to the nearest quarter, without seeking board approval.
The MTA board is expected to vote on this request, a joint request by Metro-North and the Long Island Railroad, at its monthly meeting on Wednesday.
With 19 daily New Haven Line trains operating with bar cars and 18 portable bar carts in Grand Central Terminal, Metro-North customers consumed 250,000 bags of chips and peanuts, 370,000 liquor beverages, 1 million beers and 1 million non-alcoholic drinks - with simple spring water being the biggest seller.
The products and their new prices, to be introduced on May 8, would look like this:
Top shelf liquor: $6.50
House call liquor: $6.25
Foster's (25 oz): $4.75
Imported beers: $3.25
Domestic beers: $2.50
Fruit drinks: $1.75
Snacks and juice mixers: $1.00