The time has finally come. MTA MetroCards are no more! …Almost. Like many cities have already accomplished, New York is now following suit and ridding their commuters of the flimsy plastic swipe cards, that rarely work on the first try, known as the metro card. With over 450 subway stops, nearly 250 miles of track, and over 600 buses, New York City has the largest public transportation system in the world. As many riders will tell you, there are numerous issues with its daily workings, but this seems to be a step in the right direction. Soon enough, there will be no more MetroCards.
Recently, an MTA committee approved, unanimously, a $573 million makeover for the city’s transit system. The new system will allow riders to wave or tap a smartphone, or a credit/debit card, to pay for their daily ride, instead of swiping a card. The new app will work with apps such as Apple Pay or Samsung Pay, along with any credit or debit card with chips that allow near field communication.
Joseph J. Lhota, the chairman of the MTA, told The New York Times, that this move is “the next step in bringing us into the 21st century, which we need to do … It’s going to be transformative”, adding that millennials will be the system’s “greatest users in the early stages.”
Hang on to those MetroCards for now, however. It’s going to take at least five years for the MTA to phase them out entirely. Plans to begin installing new readers are set to begin in late 2018. These readers will also be placed in Long Island Railroad and Metro-North stations as well.