The New York MTA recently announced its new hybrid MetroCard that will allow millions of city dwellers to load both unlimited and pay-per-ride fares on the same card — a move that will save riders money as well as reduce the thousands of MetroCards that are tossed away as litter each year. As of March 1st, fares will increase and a $1 replacement fee for new cards will go into effect, so the hybrid card couldn’t have come at a better time.
“We produce almost 160 million MetroCards each year at an annual cost of nearly $10 million,” said MTA Interim Executive Director Thomas F. Prendergast in a press release. “Many of the cards often end up as litter in the system, so by refilling your MetroCard, you’ll reduce expenses and help the environment.”
The $1 fee for replacement cards will not affect people who receive reduced fares, use EasyPayExpress, receive MetroCards directly from their employees or regularly buy railroad and MetroCard ticket combinations.
Riders can turn their pay-per-ride card into an unlimited one by simply refilling it at a MetroCard vending machine which will activate immediately upon swiping the card. Once the unlimited time period has expired, the pay-per-ride balance will kick in. Remaining pay-per-ride balances can also be used on PATH or Air-Train stations.