You miss that train all because of that nickel.
September 6, 2014 7:26 AM   Subscribe

 
Or....just pay attention to what the turnstile says is left on your card and refill it before you go below $2.50.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:36 AM on September 6, 2014 [7 favorites]


You miss the train because New York, unlike DC and other modern cities, doesn't print the balance on the card, so you never know how much you have!
posted by escabeche at 7:37 AM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


You miss the train because New York, unlike DC and other modern cities, doesn't print the balance on the card, so you never know how much you have!

How does that work? Does it print it each trip? I'll re-fill and re-use the same card for six months to a year; is it just gonna be covered with a dense tangle of ink?
posted by Itaxpica at 7:38 AM on September 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


And even if it gets used on a later refill, the MTA gets to collect the cash earlier this way!

I don't understand this bit. I never refilled my Metrocard in precise amounts of rides -- it was always a chunk here, a chunk there. So I suppose the MTA always got my cash earlier than was strictly necessary, but unless you go back to buying a token before each ride I don't see how there's a way around that.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:41 AM on September 6, 2014


Also I don't know what you mean by "modern", but every modern city I can think of, from SF to London, has contactless NFC cards for their metro. Paper tickets are so 1998.
posted by Itaxpica at 7:42 AM on September 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


Also worth mentioning: MTA's EasyPay Xpress system, which lets you link a debit or credit card to a MetroCard, and auto-refills it when you're below a certain amount of money (or just before your month ends, if you want an unlimited option).

If your goal is precise never-give-more-than-you-absolutely-have-to payments, it's not ideal. But if you just want a convenient way to never have to visit a MetroCard machine, it's awesome.
posted by cvp at 7:45 AM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


Outside of express busses and not having enough money to drop on a monthly unlt'd, is there a reason people who live here purchase pay-per-rides?
posted by griphus at 7:50 AM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


infrequent use?
posted by lalochezia at 7:52 AM on September 6, 2014 [6 favorites]


y'all jealous of my Ventra unlimited one month pass.
posted by mullacc at 7:55 AM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


@griphus I only leave my neighbourhood once or twice a week at most. It's just not worth paying for the card if I don't use it!
posted by cvp at 8:04 AM on September 6, 2014


What a crock of UX shit. Don't even let people pick amounts of money: give options for numbers of rides, with the prices next to them. MTA gets wins if people aren't doing the math and choosing numbers of trips that cost more per trip, and people win because they know immediately how many trips they get, rather than having to do that in their head.
posted by nushustu at 8:06 AM on September 6, 2014 [22 favorites]


This ranks as pg. 3 of a lifehacker list. Not sure why people aren't just checking the value left on the card when they pass through the turnstile. The extra 5c just means that the frustrating trip to the machine is delayed by one ride.
posted by arcticseal at 8:25 AM on September 6, 2014


Around Toronto, GO Transit is using the Presto card system, and the antique TTC is going to pick it up as well... eventually.

This is a contactless card that just needs to 'bump' a reader, and for GO, it can default to your commute, which means you don't have to remember to bump again when you arrive at your destination. There's no charge to get one. It's simply a debit card that you preload before travelling. Whether you use it daily or occasionally... it works the same and doesn't penalize either user.

In a perfect world, the only reason to vend some other sort of ticket or temporary pass is for visitors and very occasional unplanned travel. I guess one must also accommodate users who can't/won't prepay into a card.

Yes - the MTA terminal seems to be a UX fail. It should sell rides, so that any discount, convenience fee or round-up is apparent.
posted by Artful Codger at 8:34 AM on September 6, 2014


Los Angeles (including the other cities in greater LA with their own transit system) has a similar TAP card as Toronto and is the ONLY form of access for the subway and light rail (the buses will still take cash). For tourists it can be annoying because you'll need to spend a buck to get one, but once you do have one you can refill it using the kiosks or online. It also will spookily show you everywhere you TAP, so that could be a negative for some people.

Now if only it'd become as amazing as the Hong Kong Octopus card. I was using that in 1998, for crying out loud.

But then again, the best solution would be to have a VISA/MC/AMEX card with a contactless chip that allows you to use it with any of these systems.
posted by linux at 8:49 AM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


Artful Codger (and other people living in or near the centre of the universe), what do you think of the fare machines on the new Spadina streetcars in Toronto? (Full image).

I've ridden the 510 twice, and as much as I love the new interior bike rack, the fare machine UX is leaving me a little grumpy. An attendant went through the procedure for me the first time (it was a lot faster than I expected, maybe 5 seconds total from token drop to ticket printout), but I asked the attendant on the second ride to please let me figure it out for myself. She had to tell me that the first step was NOT "Select fare type", as shown in the instructions at the top of the machine, but insert the token, THEN press the yellow button. Of course, my first impulse in just about any fare collection scenario would be to insert the damn fare first, but I stopped to read the instructions, and that screwed me up.

I think that if a machine is non-intuitive enough to need instructions, they should be complete, non?
posted by maudlin at 8:50 AM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oui. Thanks for the link, those machines have been a bit baffling to this tourist.
posted by Rash at 8:55 AM on September 6, 2014


Hey maudlin. I haven't been working downtown in the last year, but as a streetcar junkie I intend to go pay homage to the new cars on Spadina. I'm used to the POP system from the 501 line.

So I haven't seen the new fare machines. Your image was the very first time I've seen one. If this is the future, why isn't the TTC running some public campaign to explain the new fare machines and how it works? Yet another GTA transit fail, it seems.

We rode nearly identical streetcars in Europe in 2008, and their fare system was intuitive and simple, even in a foreign language.
posted by Artful Codger at 9:14 AM on September 6, 2014


Metafilter: "So in closing, Math is useful."
posted by digitalprimate at 9:15 AM on September 6, 2014


I got used to using $21.05 before the price hike, though that would be all messed up if I used AirTrain.

One reason to do this is sometimes the machines won't let you add money to your card and you have to just discard it when it no longer has enough for a full fare. Saving $2 a month was enough to manually type in $21.05 rather than just hit the $20 button.

At least there's no exit swipe in NYC.
posted by mountmccabe at 9:16 AM on September 6, 2014


Yeah, I'm sure that MTA has designed it this way completely for tourists, who don't really understand the subway and who only use it so many times, so the MTA collects just a little bit extra from every single person who visits the city. It would actually be kind of clever, if it weren't so shitty of them.

What a crock of UX shit. Don't even let people pick amounts of money: give options for numbers of rides, with the prices next to them.

Didn't it used to be this way? It's been kind of a long time since I lived in NYC, but I feel like when I was there the options were like "x many rides" or "week/month unlimited." Is that right? Did they change it?
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:17 AM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


Tnx for the link -- this actually happens to me a lot. And just to make it more confusing I seem to always have several Metrocards, none of which I remember the balance of. But there is light at the end of the tunnel (sorry): I believe the next generation of subway access will use no-contact RF-ID cards linked to one's credit card for auto refill.
posted by Dean358 at 9:20 AM on September 6, 2014


I am disappoint that this isn't a MythBusters-type thing about whether a nickel left on the track can derail a train.
posted by XMLicious at 9:28 AM on September 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


This is good for me. My lifestyle finds me purchasing a new card when I have another one in my other pants or some such. Then I end up with two in my pocket, and when one hits the sub-fare remaider I use the other one in my hand, rather than refill. When the remainders accumulate I aggregate them at the booth. Not all attendants will do that for some reason, which is a complication.

This is a good hack in the sense that I would use that word. Sure, I could correct my form, but that would be a correction not a hack. A hack is a work-around that doesn't require reprogramming my library routines. I lost the source code for those some time ago.
posted by StickyCarpet at 9:31 AM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


Honestly, I don't know anyone in NYC who doesn't have an unlimited card. I can't imagine why anyone would use this.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:31 AM on September 6, 2014


Roomthreeseventeen, I use pay per ride because it helps remind me to bike to work instead of taking the train every day.

But I just put $25 on it each time, which gives me 10.5 rides. So I get a free ride every other time I refill.
posted by thecaddy at 9:44 AM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


Honestly, I don't know anyone in NYC who doesn't have an unlimited card. I can't imagine why anyone would use this.

Hi roomthreseventeen, I've lived in NYC since 1981 and have never had one (but nice to meet you). Two reasons: 1.) The numbers don't make sense as I only average around 12 subway trips a month and my wife averages around 30 per month. The 30 day unlimited pass is $112. and 2.) you can't use the unlimited card for someone else. So if my wife and I are riding together or if I'm taking guests with me everyone needs separate cards.
posted by Dean358 at 9:48 AM on September 6, 2014 [6 favorites]


I lived in NYC for three years and never had an unlimited card. I commuted using a bus out of Port Authority and lived close enough to walk there. And living in Midtown there was a lot to do within walking distance.

The unlimited cost more than $30 a month, right?
posted by mountmccabe at 9:50 AM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


... I can't imagine why anyone would use this.

Well, not with that attitude!
posted by Naberius at 9:51 AM on September 6, 2014


I visit New York City about twice a year. This happened to me over Labor Day weekend. I flew home with a MetroCard balance of $2.45. D'oh!

I fell victim to that "whatever, I just wanna get on the train" mentality. That's all. I wasn't a dumb tourist or anything like that. Noooooooo. Sure I wasn't.
posted by pianoblack at 9:58 AM on September 6, 2014


Man. You people need to know evil.
Hey, Myki.... what a pity you're a piece of shit. (It's a random result for Myki sucks, but I understand it is one of the least user-friendly PT card systems around. Maybe some poor sucker in Melbourne can expand?).
posted by Mezentian at 10:05 AM on September 6, 2014



Honestly, I don't know anyone in NYC who doesn't have an unlimited card. I can't imagine why anyone would use this.

Been here since 2002, Never gotten an unlimited card - everything I wanted to go to was within walking distance or not frequent enough to justify the cost.
posted by The Whelk at 10:06 AM on September 6, 2014


We've only gotten the card things in our transit system recently but people still aren't used to them so you can still use actual US dollars and/or coins on the bus or T if your card is empty (Or if you just refuse to deal with them).
posted by octothorpe at 10:12 AM on September 6, 2014


Hi roomthreseventeen, I've lived in NYC since 1981 and have never had one (but nice to meet you). Two reasons: 1.) The numbers don't make sense as I only average around 12 subway trips a month and my wife averages around 30 per month. The 30 day unlimited pass is $112. and 2.) you can't use the unlimited card for someone else. So if my wife and I are riding together or if I'm taking guests with me everyone needs separate cards.

That makes sense, I guess. I think most of the people I know have to commute back and forth to work.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:15 AM on September 6, 2014


Is this guy pulling a prank? Did he doctor those photos? I don't remember the machines giving an extra 45 cents, that seems silly. Is that really how it is? How about just putting 20 bucks on it whenever you begin running out? What the fuck is the point of this? So then you run out at EXACTLY zero and even then you'll probably forget and swipe with an insufficient card.
posted by ReeMonster at 10:18 AM on September 6, 2014


Wait, can visitors get a refund on the $2.45 if they're leaving and don't need the card anymore?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 10:44 AM on September 6, 2014


TW, looks like you have to wait till it expires before asking for a refund (by mail).
posted by GrammarMoses at 11:08 AM on September 6, 2014


Roomthreeseventeen, I also commute to work and I also don't have an unlimited card. An unlimited card really only makes sense if you take more than 12 trips per week - which for me would be if I went out both nights on the weekend on top of goin to work, and I just plain don't have that glittering a social life.

There's charts you can find on the straphangers' site and other places that spell out the economics of the unlimited vs. the pay-per-ride for your particular subway use so you can pick which would be the best deal over time. I was getting the unlimited too, until I saw that and did the math and realized I was screwing myself out of an unnecessary $20 a month.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:20 AM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


More love for the Octopus card in Hong Kong. Simple, practical and you could use it to pay for other items apart from fares.
posted by arcticseal at 11:23 AM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


Christ, this is stupid.
Once again, you literally can’t buy a $10 metro card from a machine.
Of course you can. The balance on it will be $10.50 because of the bonus, but MTA doesn't get "interest" on the $0.50 because that's the fucking bonus you never paid for in the first place, you math-illiterate. If it bothers you so much, throw away your half dollar at the end.
posted by brokkr at 11:23 AM on September 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


Honestly, I don't know anyone in NYC who doesn't have an unlimited card. I can't imagine why anyone would use this.

I live in Brooklyn and work incredibly weird and irregular hours. The drive in is .5 the length of the train ride, which is even longer late at night or early in the morning. Sleep is worth more to me than the $$$ it costs.

Back when I lived closer and made lots of little subway hops, I always had an unlimited card. Now I can't imagine it. (And now that I'm thinking about it, a lot of those hops were to go to film labs, which I haven't done since digital. Digital photography is costing the MTA money!)
posted by nevercalm at 11:24 AM on September 6, 2014


One reason they aren't selling by the ride is that these cards are used for other things when there is cash, rather than time on them. PATH, Airtrain and Express Bus all take metro cards. While it would be nice to see "x number of subway rides" when buying a metro card, there are people (including those folks who get the discounts and the kids who get a certain number of free rides a day to get to and from school) who this would not apply to.

The MTA has actually worked out when it makes more sense to by an unlimited card rather than a pay as you go card.
posted by Hactar at 11:37 AM on September 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


You miss the train because New York, unlike DC and other modern cities, doesn't print the balance on the card, so you never know how much you have!

The DC subway system looks like the bowels of a Kubreckian nightmare and you're not allowed to drink liquids. A million communters, trapped on a train every morning for up to an hour, unable to drink coffee. It's barbarism, even if it has allowed the city to save $2 bucks by never ever replacing the original 1970s carpeting in their nightmare tunnels.
posted by Diablevert at 11:42 AM on September 6, 2014 [6 favorites]


brokkr Of course you can. The balance on it will be $10.50 because of the bonus, but MTA doesn't get "interest" on the $0.50 because that's the fucking bonus you never paid for in the first place, you math-illiterate. If it bothers you so much, throw away your half dollar at the end.

Then it's a $10.50 Metrocard. That you paid $11 for.

It's not math illiteracy, it's using a different definition. One that is much more reasonable, I'd say.
posted by mountmccabe at 12:26 PM on September 6, 2014


"A million communters, trapped on a train every morning for up to an hour, unable to drink coffee."

Personally, I'd rather not be trapped on a moving train full of people holding cups of scalding liquid.

If you can't get through it without a stimulant, might I suggest No-Doze or maybe some speed?
posted by merelyglib at 12:40 PM on September 6, 2014


Seattle/Tacoma/Puget Sound uses the ORCA card. You can put both a monthly unlimited pass on it, as well as money in a separate 'purse'. It always tells you how much in the purse whenever you tap your card. I have a monthly pass, but also keep money in the purse - if I have a $2.25 monthly pass, and I take a ride that's $3.00, it deducts the $0.75 from the purse automatically.

Tourists also use the purse system.
posted by spinifex23 at 1:00 PM on September 6, 2014


Of course you can. The balance on it will be $10.50 because of the bonus, but MTA doesn't get "interest" on the $0.50 because that's the fucking bonus you never paid for in the first place, you math-illiterate. If it bothers you so much, throw away your half dollar at the end.

Funny -- that's almost verbatim what the MTA guy said when I raised this issue with him one morning whilst awaiting my train.
posted by chortly at 1:05 PM on September 6, 2014


Honestly, I don't know anyone in NYC who doesn't have an unlimited card. I can't imagine why anyone would use this.

I get an unlimited when I'm working in-office at least five days a week. However, as a freelancer, I have plenty of weeks (and months) when I'm working from home or not working at all, so most of the time, I'm rocking a pay-per-ride card. See also: anyone who walks, bikes, or drives to work, or uses the subway less than 12x a week.

I sometimes catch a glimpse of the balance out of the corner of my eye as I head through the turnstile, but more often, I'm already through the turnstile before the amount shows up. After all, in that moment, I'm rushing to get somewhere, and have other things to attend to, like whether I'm about to miss a train.

I find out when my card is low when the turnstile beeps three times, letting me enter, but alerting me that there's less than one ride's worth left on the card. The next time I get to zero imma try this $19.05 business and see if it suits me.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 1:50 PM on September 6, 2014


Fight the fare increase, vote for George O'Brien, and get poor Charlie off the MTA!
posted by bendy at 2:25 PM on September 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


More love for the Octopus card in Hong Kong. Simple, practical and you could use it to pay for other items apart from fares.

Yes! I love this thing! I also love that it's called an Octopus Card! For a while I just called all fare cards that cuz so cool.
posted by grobstein at 2:40 PM on September 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


The MTA's strategy with those bizarre $9, $19 and $39 options is meant to maximize breakage—the unspent money on prepaid cards that has been a massive source of revenue for issuers of gift cards, calling cards and the like: Since 2005, for instance, it's been estimated that some $41 billion in value has been left unclaimed on gift cards. (How to account for all that revenue, and where it ultimately ends up if not claimed, appears to be something of a dilemma for the accounting profession.)

The point of the article (which some people seem to have missed!) is that, for those who use the MTA's provided options like $19—and I have been doing it for years, unthinkingly—that little "bonus" turns out to be not a bonus at all. You end up having to top up your card at $2.45, and even with the 95 cents you didn't pay, the MTA is sitting on $1.50 that you did spend for some portion of time. With an estimated 1.6 billion subway rides each year, that's going to be a lot of extra revenue for the MTA.

A few years ago my company's cafeteria switched from cash transactions to prepaid cards—"for convenience," of course. You load your card with $25 on Monday, and over the course of the week you get two $6 sandwiches and two $5 salads. By Friday, you have $3 left—not enough to buy anything, so you've got to load up another amount. The typical user will throw $10 or $20 on the card. All that breakage just keeps piling up, to the benefit of someone besides the consumer. ("I have $15 left on my card." No you don't—the card issuer has the $15.) Not to mention the mental gymnastics of trying to calculate what you can get for lunch when you have $4.83 or whatever left on your card. So I stopped using the cafeteria and now go to a deli that allows you to swipe you debit card. Fuck breakage!
posted by stargell at 5:05 PM on September 6, 2014 [9 favorites]


The Octopus is my favourite - accepted in supermarkets etc and it can be a sim card so you just wave your phone generally in the direction of the reader. Plus it's so easy to refund as a tourist, just go to any ticket counter, give the card back and receive the fare balance + deposit in cash money, in your hand. Could not be simpler.

An aside - why the sea-life, O focus for the names of transport cards: Oyster, Octopus, ORCA? This can't be coincidence.
posted by goo at 5:50 PM on September 6, 2014 [4 favorites]


looks like you have to wait till it expires before asking for a refund (by mail).

The office is a couple blocks from mine. I'm totally going there with a stack of expired cards.
posted by ryoshu at 5:56 PM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


Another 15-year NYC resident who commutes to work and never had an unlimited card - I don't take subways on the weekends or late nights enough to justify the added amount - I've done the math and it's always been cheaper (for me) not to.

This is a big issue for people who rarely use the MTA, but if you commute regularly using it it's less relevant - if you keep refilling your card, eventually it either zeros out or the card expires and the machine gives you a new one and transfers the balance. I've had to mail in expired ones for the excess balance a couple times, and it takes something close to 6 months to get your refund, though - they're definitely making it more difficult in hopes we'll go away and let them keep our money.
posted by Mchelly at 7:24 PM on September 6, 2014


Welp, I used to live in NYC and don't anymore and when I visit I usually forget to bring my metrocard so need to get a new one. So, um, this link was useful for me, thanks. (Suck it, haters.)
posted by likeatoaster at 7:43 PM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


An aside - why the sea-life, O focus for the names of transport cards: Oyster, Octopus, ORCA? This can't be coincidence.

The one here in Wellington, NZ is called Snapper. I believe their reasoning for the name was 'Everyone else is doing it'.
posted by netd at 7:52 PM on September 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


That's not breakage unless it literally never gets used. Its closer to prepaying for your meal or fare. The value of it is going to be something like one percent of the average value on your card - the bonuses you got for putting larger amounts on your card. In reality you are probably still coming out ahead of the MTA.

The stub amount only matters if you are leaving NY.
posted by JPD at 8:06 PM on September 6, 2014


BTW the total amount of unearned income on the MTAs balance sheet is about 500 mil. Which like 12% of annual fares. Don't forget that someone who buys monthly passes the day they buy the pass they are generating an 8% number.
posted by JPD at 8:28 PM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's a random result for Myki sucks, but I understand it is one of the least user-friendly PT card systems around. Maybe some poor sucker in Melbourne can expand?

well here's one example, from the UX perspective... when you touch on at the start of your trip, and the yellow light comes on, it means either a) your balance is low, or b) your balance is not low...
posted by russm at 9:19 PM on September 6, 2014


mountmccabe: "Then it's a $10.50 Metrocard. That you paid $11 for. "

You might want to check your math as you're paying $10 and getting a $10.50 metrocard out of the machine because of the 5% bonus. Not sure where you got the $11 figure from. Putting in $11 into the machine will give you a $11.55 metrocard.
posted by I-baLL at 11:18 PM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


I remember when you paid for the subway with tokens. I still have several of them. I guess they got me.
posted by Pudhoho at 11:25 PM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


I understand the benefits on their side but it feels really dirty that a public service is so blatantly manipulating their users for cash with suggested options that are of no benefit to anyone except them.
posted by forgetful snow at 11:26 PM on September 6, 2014


forgetful snow: They're not manipulating their users in any way. The extra cash left on the card is almost always from the 5% bonus that the users got for free. How is this "blatant manipulation"?
posted by I-baLL at 11:31 PM on September 6, 2014


The 5% bonus is irrelevant. If the standard transit fee is $2.50, suggesting the options of $9, $19 and $39 is manipulative and of no benefit to the user.
posted by forgetful snow at 12:01 AM on September 7, 2014


I don't see why you have to memorize anything. You can just add on the nickel at the time your card says $2.45, or at any time prior to that as you notice that your card's remaining balance isn't exactly divisible by $2.50.
posted by xigxag at 12:28 AM on September 7, 2014


"The 5% bonus is irrelevant. If the standard transit fee is $2.50, suggesting the options of $9, $19 and $39 is manipulative and of no benefit to the user."

The reason why it's showing those defaults is because whoever wrote the article pushed the "new metrocard" option. A new metrocard costs $1. So if you put in $10 you'll get $9 on your metrocard plus the 5% bonus. $9, $19, and $39 are the defaults because most people won't pay with single dollar bills but instead with a $10, or a $20.
posted by I-baLL at 1:01 AM on September 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


stargell: "All that breakage just keeps piling up, to the benefit of someone besides the consumer. ("I have $15 left on my card." No you don't—the card issuer has the $15.) Not to mention the mental gymnastics of trying to calculate what you can get for lunch when you have $4.83 or whatever left on your card. So I stopped using the cafeteria and now go to a deli that allows you to swipe you debit card. Fuck breakage!"

IMO, it's not quite that bad as long as the cafeteria is decent and cards are reloadable. Where breakage gets annoying is those prepaid credit & gift cards. 1.64 on a Barnes & Noble gift card? I'm sure I'll send the rest of that one Real Soon Now. And the 82 cents left on that prepaid visa? Substantially reduced by the transaction fees.
posted by pwnguin at 2:18 AM on September 7, 2014


The presets are 10, 20, and 40. You know standard bill denominations.

The idea that the MTA a perpetually loss making entity that generates half its revenues from direct government grants is has some master plan to profit card deposits is just like a borderline conspiracy theory

These deposits were a net 67 million in cash I'm 2013. The MTA generates ten billion dollars of revenue a year.
posted by JPD at 4:56 AM on September 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oh god. As a NYC to Seattle area transplant, let me say the ORCA card is light years ahead of the Metrocard, and easier to use as well. You can just tap your whole wallet! It's like magic!
posted by corb at 8:45 AM on September 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


looks like you have to wait till it expires before asking for a refund (by mail)

That's just evil. In Singapore, you just take the card up to the ticket window and get cash back on the spot.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 9:01 AM on September 7, 2014


Yeah metrocard is pretty primitive. It's like 25 year old technology at this point.
posted by JPD at 1:07 PM on September 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


There's no charge to get [a Presto card].

Uh...they're $6, but they do eventually pay for themselves.

The huge, glaring error with Presto is that online reloads can take 24 hours to propagate through the system, and you can run out of money in that amount of time.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 8:43 PM on September 8, 2014


The blogger's update:
“These machines do not hold an infinite amount of change and the denominations are suggested to insure there is ample change to accommodate customers who pay with cash,” [an MTA] spokesperson said in a statement.

“That being said, we will certainly look at this as part of the process involved in rolling out the next scheduled fare increase slated for next year.”

...But there are many machines in the MTA system with no change at all. They are Credit Card Only machines and they are all over the system. So the MTA could make a small software change that only applies to the Credit Card Only machines with limited effort.
posted by GrammarMoses at 6:27 AM on September 9, 2014


Where does it say that Presto cards (Toronto) are $6? I don't think I paid anything for mine 2+ years ago, I just asked for it at a wicket, they signed me up and I dumped some money into it.

A 24-hour lag to register funds would suck. I guess that's for fraud prevention, but even then they should be able to risk the cost of two rides if that process time is real.

btw the presto.ca site is mostly down this weekend (Sept 13/14) because they're allegedly reconfiguring the system for the TTC. So, yay.
posted by Artful Codger at 8:17 AM on September 14, 2014


« Older Just some shitty nerds in an IRC channel.   |   ...in English, when someone is crazy, it's always... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments