The End of the MetroCard is Near01.15.2014
You won’t be seeing these small yellow cards thrown around the streets of New York too much in the very near future. The MTA plans to invoke a new system that will promote New Yorkers to use either “bank issued contactless cards” similar to debit and credit cards, or smartphones, according to a report on Fast Company. But don’t fret, you can hold on to your love for swiping until 2019 before it becomes obsolete.
In an effort to increase convenience for riders while also saving vending machine costs, this switch from paper to smartphone apps will be a drastic change to New York’s 1.6 billion yearly subway riders. The reasoning for the sudden modification is due to the fact that the current MetroCard damages quickly, creates pollution, and can only be used on subways or city buses. The hope is that the new technology will create an app that will allow riders to pay for any type of regional transportation, not limited to the current system.
Creating a problem since not everyone owns a smartphone, the plastic smart card is another option up for debate. With this option, riders would simply wave their card in front of the entry, similar to what is seen in Washington D.C. This would force the city to remove the machines which cost about $50,000 each. New York City is far behind on their transit technology, comparatively to other cities across the United States. This update could be a much needed change for the city.
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While the change is still in its beginning stages, and the updates are being discussed in further detail, the idea of modernizing the very dated system while also saving money for the city has us looking forward to the next five years. In the meantime, many designers have come up with ways to help us keep track of our cards. We’ll no longer have to search the bottom of our bags or risk our MetroCards taking a bath in the back pocket of our jeans while in the wash with these helpful and fashion-forward cardholders. [Fast Company]
Featured image via: Flickr/paulmmay under CC
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