You’ve been warned: MetroCard vending machines will not accept debit or credit card payments for six hours early Saturday morning, according to the MTA and New York City Transit.
The outage will affect MetroCard machines citywide – including at PATH stations, within the JFK AirTrain system and at LaGuardia Airport – between 12:01 a.m. and 6 a.m. The agency will staff personnel at stations to help customers without cash and riders can also call 511 for assistance or push the “information” button on Help Point kiosks.
The timing of the debit and credit card outage was chosen specifically for when ridership is at its lowest, according to the MTA.
On Thursday, the agency had postponed a similar citywide outage that had been scheduled to last throughout Super Bowl weekend. The announcement created consternation among subway riders on Twitter and drew the ire of City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who said the plan showed “a bit of a tin ear from MTA leadership.”
The revised outage plan, announced on Monday, was created to minimize its impact on subway riders, MTA Managing Director Veronique Hakim said.
“After hearing clearly from our customers that they needed more information regarding this upgrade, we reassessed the entire process,” Hakim said. “We are aggressively communicating with customers about this upgrade to ensure that we avoid confusion, and [we’re] limiting the disruption to only the very early morning hours Saturday.”
The debit and credit card outage is related to an upgrade being performed on mainframe computers to improve the security and reliability of transactions, according to the MTA.
The agency is expected to completely phase out the MetroCard, in favor of a tap-to-pay system, by 2023.
With Vincent Barone