Used MetroCards Make Big Litter - MTA Proposes a Solution

They litter almost every subway entrance - the ubiquitous, value-exhausted plastic MetroCards. Yet, MetroCards are refillable. Now MTA has devised a simple, revenue-producing measure that would reduce the litter by adding a $1 fee to new cards.

While the new MetroCard "tax", as the Post put it, is a revenue measure that has additional benefits, not so for many of the other schemes considered by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to reduce the $400 million budget shortfall for 2010. Take the elimination of off-peak LIRR and MetroNorth commuter train ticket pricing that reduce crowding on peak-hour trains.

"Another major change under consideration is putting a cap on the number of trips using weekly and monthly "unlimited ride" cards." [Of course, they would then have to lose the 'unlimited' designation in that case.]

"Some of the MetroCard savings might not last for long. The MTA is hoping to have a credit- and debit-card-based SmartCard program in place by 2014 -- essentially eliminating the MetroCard."

From Crains New York: MTA eyes more fare hikes and fees: "While the base (transit) fare of $2.25 is not expected to change, officials are considering increasing unlimited $27 weekly and $89 monthly MetroCards by as much as 4% and 10%, respectively.

The proposed fare increases were first reported Friday by the New York Post and confirmed by transit officials. The MTA has already announced that it planned to increase fares overall by 7.5% this year and next."

Thanks to Crain's New York Business

Full Story: $1 fee eyed on each new Metro pass

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