How many times have you tried to do the math on whether to buy that pricey monthly MetroCard or stick to that per-ride fee?
One of these days, you'll calculate if it's worth it... and somehow that day never comes. Oh, math... our fickle friend.
And how many times have you ended up paying a ton more just because you couldn’t lay out the cash up front?
And how many times have you needed to refill your card only to come across a broken machine? All. The. Time.
The answers to all of these dilemmas just might be forthcoming with the MTA’s slow phase-out of the MetroCard in favor of a new contactless system. With this pricing model, the system caps the payments from your card at the amount it costs for the up-front weekly pass.
So at the end of the week, the system looks into the 7-day history and grants refunds to accounts, for any payments over the cap.
Seems like such a reasonable and humane way of doing things, don't you think?
This new system will be brought to us by Cubic Transportation System, which used a similar design in their creation of an analogous system in London offering its users daily and weekly fare capping. The London approach, which New York is looking to emulate, involves a scanner inside the tube where riders scan their credit and debit cards each ride.
This innovation, aimed at improving “equity and affordability” for subway users, will be part of a six-year process that will replace the paper card with payment methods from smartphones, digital wallets, or proprietary cards.
In the past, people have expressed frustration with the fact that if they cannot afford the weekly pass up front, they end up paying much more than those who can. Hopefully, the new system will cater to these concerns.
By spring of 2019, these alternate payment methods are set to be accepted at 500 station turnstiles and 600 buses.
Set to completely replace the MetroCard by 2023, this system is set to yield all kinds of improvements including speeding up buses, improving fare enforcement, reducing congestion and improving accessibility and affordability of the system.
It will also allow the MTA to institute lower fares during off-peak hours, another victory for fairness over bureaucracy.
Looks like the future of trains is coming—we just wish it ran as they do![via AMNY] [Feature Image Courtesy pocket-link]