Remember when the MTA said they were going to replace the MetroCard with futuristic EZ-Pass-like technology? Of course you do. Anyone who’s ever been stuck in a line behind some idiot who can’t swipe their card correctly while the train is entering the station and AHHH you’re gonna be late (or worse, have been the red-faced idiot who can’t get the swipy thing to work – DeKalb stop people STAND UP) rejoiced. So in a word… everyone. This magical dreamworld where you don’t have to juggle your wallet, keys, coffee and iPod to fish out a little card while doing an irritated powerwalk to the turnstile didn’t even seem to be that far off in the future: 2019. Unfortunately, the MTA announced that plans have changed and it looks like the new tech won’t be rolled out until 2022.
Now, we have a lot more information about their plans—starting with the fact that the MetroCard likely won’t be phased out until closer to 2022.
Although the MTA believes that the MetroCard remains too expensive to maintain, they have pushed back the roll out of the new system to spend a little more time studying how other cities have installed their own fare payment systems. And in their latest Capital Budget report, they estimate that the total cost to overhauling the system will be around $450 million.[Gothamist]
Of course, it’s the MTA, so 2022 is almost certainly a pipe dream. By the time they finish their little study, people in Japan and Europe will be teleporting from city to city and we’ll still be stuck swiping a flimsy piece of plastic.