A problem with the paper that the LIRR uses for its tickets is causing a different kind of on-time performance problem for the railroad: tickets displaying the wrong year.
In a message Friday, the Long Island Rail Road alerted commuters to a "ticket stock issue" that would result in peculiarities in their August monthly tickets.
Mail & Ride monthly tickets, the LIRR said, will include the year "19" printed on them. And tickets purchased at electronic vending machines will be printed on "green ticket stock from 2016" and display an expiration date of “12/31/16.”
LIRR officials said the paper it was supposed to use for its tickets was defective and not usable, and so it had to rely on other stock. The railroad said it was investigating the problem with its supplier.
The railroad told customers to disregard the errant dates, and urged them to purchase their monthly tickets using the MTA eTix mobile app.
"Thank you for understanding as we work to resolve this issue," the railroad told customers in a statement.
The problem also means that customers can only purchase $25 MetroCards at LIRR ticket machines, and will not be able to add value to them or buy $50 MetroCards.
The glitch was the subject of ridicule by some LIRR riders on social media. "$300 a month and you can't even get your own tickets correct," Mike Rosenberg tweeted.
It’s not the first time ticket paper problems have caused embarrassment for the railroad. In 2009, LIRR rider Lara Tepper was accused by the railroad of using a counterfeit ticket. Tepper spent hours in an MTA Police holding cell until authorities realized that the ticket she bought was legitimate, but printed on paper that had been out of circulation for years.