New MetroCard pilot starts next week
The MetroCard may be starting to sing its swan song.
The MTA is starting a pilot program Tuesday that will give some riders a new way to swipe into the system, amNewYork has learned.
The “smartcard” system allows straphangers to pass a specially equipped key chain, credit card or phone across a reader on a turnstile or bus fare box to pay, with participants registering to have the money drawn from their bank account, much like the E-Z pass for drivers. The system means less time at MetroCard machines and allows buses to get going faster, transit advocates say.
“It’s amazingly quick,” said William Henderson, executive director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA.
The new program will be available along the Lexington Avenue subway line, along with the M14, M23, M79, M86, M101, M102, M103 and BxM7 bus lines, according to transit documents.
The MTA estimates that more than 1 million riders could potentially benefit from it, including NJ Transit users. Still, participants at this stage in the game will have to buy a regular MetroCard to continue riding on other train or bus lines.
MasterCard is paying for the six-month program, which the MTA eventually wants to expand across the system.
Riders can sign up next week at ridenynj.com.