Since the 1990s, all New Yorkers had to hold tight to a tiny square with a magnetic band to have access to subway. However, these pieces proved numerous times that they are not reliable. People can easily lose them, bend them or damage them beyond repair. However, officials have a better idea to replace the MetroCard altogether.
New Yorkers Will Use Their Credit, Debit Cards or Cellphones to Gain Access to Subway
On Monday, New York announced that MetroCards are going to become redundant in the near future. Starting late 2018, New Yorkers will be able to get past subway turnstiles as they do it in London. Instead of losable cards, they will gain access to the subway with their smartphones.
New York commuters will have other simple methods at their disposal to streamline their daily transit routine. Besides waving their cellphones at the entrance, they can endow personal credit cards with the functions of a MetroCard as well. The same mechanisms will work with fareboxes on buses too.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority received access to a budget of $573 million to apply a new system for transit fare payments. The technology will be the same one as the London Underground and railroads in London has been using for several years now.
Starting with 2018, 600 buses and 500 subway turnstiles will receive new electronic readers. The rest of the city will finish adopting the novel system by 2020. The chairman of the transit authority, Joseph J. Lhota, claimed that this was a necessary step for the modern New York lifestyle.
“It’s the next step in bringing us into the 21st century, which we need to do. It’s going to be transformative.”
New York Authorities Seek to Speed up the Daily Commute Through This New Payment System
The old MetroCard will not face extinction yet. The traditional payment system will continue to serve those who don’t own cellphones or credit or debit cards. However, all the other New Yorkers will be able to skip long lines and update or check their transit accounts online.
New York officials kept transit modernization high in their agenda after 2017 proved to be disastrous for subway commuters. The network received extensive repairs and upgrades for the entire summer. However, this project led to rush-hour malfunctions and climaxed with a train derailment in June.
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