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Smart Card technology by 2014

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Bus and subway riders will be able to abandon the MetroCard and use debit or credit cards to ride anywhere in the city by 2014, according to the MTA.

 

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority for the first time set a target date for a no-swipe smart-card system to be in full use after years of studies and pilot programs.

 

With smart-card technology, riders simply waive or tap their credit or debit cards on readers when entering a subway station or bus.

 

Not having to swipe at turnstiles or dip a MetroCard into a fare box reader should speed travel and reduce MTA expenses, experts have said.

 

"I think it's great," Bill Henderson, executive director of the MTA's Permanent Citizens Advisory Council. "The technology is going help out the riders and the system."

 

The 2014 date is included in an MTA document detailing some of the major initiatives in the five-year capital plan recently approved by the authority's governing board.

 

If fully funded, the capital plan will allocate $220 million for a smart-card system, which also would include prepaid cards not linked to bank or credit accounts.

 

 

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2009/09/25/2009-09-25_mta_smart_card_tech_by_2014.html

 

Okay, here's my concern: how will this play for minors who obviously don't have bank accounts to refill their cards? Will there be a way to add cash to the card in some sort of way? And will there be some sort of unlimited pass, like how there are unlimited MetroCards right now?

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Aren't they going to charge your credit/debit card everytime you swipe your card though? I don't like using my card at all. I just use it for online purchasing. Hopefully it will just an option and not mandatory to use it.

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"If fully funded, the capital plan will allocate $220 million for a smart-card system, which also would include prepaid cards not linked to bank or credit accounts."

 

there's your answer right there.

the "pre-paid cards" would be for unlimiteds and those who dont want to use their bank issued cards

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Thanks for pointing that out, I missed that while posting.

 

Hmmm, so I guess the MTA buses and subways will be subject to an E-Z Pass system, per se. The only thing is that buses may still take coins as another option because some people would still insist on paying for the bus in coins. I don't see why not, as the tolls accept both E-Z Pass and cash, some both, some takes one or the other.

 

I wonder if passengers will be able to refill their cards with cash at a special vending machine in addition to refilling them with their credit/debit cards.

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wouldnt doubt it. MVMs will still be around in a sort of way. the smart card is to reduce upkeep needed for a swipe system. just think of it as them issuing new kinds of tokens. just in a card from now. a swipless card. its like going from the Y cutout token to the bullet hole token.

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This is very needed in the city IMO. If they can get a one-card system where you can access all transit in the city (Subway, Buses, PATH, Bee Line, LIRR, MNR, and even taxis), it would make traveling in the city easier as it would make going places using other transit options than usual, easier. Plus, it would eliminate the "Please Swipe Again" and the long lines created by these messages on Buses and subway stations.

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The tokens lasted for nearly a century without anybody discarding them like they do with the metrocards and now the MTA wants to make the metrocard obsolete after under tow decades, just wonderful. They should have never done away with the subway tokens.

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True regarding the tokens. However, methinks a smart card system would be very beneficial in that:

1) It would (hopefully) curtail the waste generated by discarded MetroCards

2) Ameliorate the problem with "swipers" at subway stations

3) It'd make for easier entry into buses and subway stations

 

Of course, I hope such is implemented properly and that the card readers don't succumb to vandalism.

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