Starting March 3, subway users may think twice about tossing their old MetroCards.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority has announced several new policies for the price and purchase of MetroCards. In addition to a 25-cent fare hike, which will make single rides cost $2.50, the MTA will charge $1 for each new MetroCard purchased.
Despite being called a financial nuisance to users who do not normally save MetroCards, the policy may have some environmental benefits, according to the MTA.
“We produce almost 160 million MetroCards each year at an annual cost of nearly $10 million,” MTA Interim Executive Director Thomas F. Prendergast said in a press release. “Many of the cards often end up as litter … so by refilling your MetroCard, you’ll reduce expenses and help the environment.”
The new policy is part of a budget proposal to respond to the MTA’s financial troubles, which were exacerbated by Hurricane Sandy. According to the MTA’s website, the storm caused a $268 million loss in revenue. But with these new measures, the MTA expects to recuperate nearly $382 million this year.
In addition to a fare hike, a new system will allow users to fill their MetroCards with both unlimited ride time and pay-per-ride dollars. Now 30-day unlimited MetroCards will cost $112 and seven-day cards will cost $30.
Hevba Allam, a freshman at CAS who commutes to NYU from Brooklyn, was supportive of this option to pay for her subway fare.
“I would definitely do that,” she affirmed. “It sounds like it will make taking the train everyday more convenient and much easier.”
The MTA webpage on new fares also suggests some ways to save, despite the increase. For example, adding $5 to a pay-per-ride card will give users a 5 percent bonus.
Subway riders should also be wary of the possibility that their current cards might expire. All unlimited-ride cards purchased before the March 3 changes must be activated by March 11 to ensure they can still be used. Old 7-day unlimited-ride cards officially expire after March 17, and 30-day cards on April 9.
“I’ve used the same card for about eight months. [This is] just a good reminder to get a new one,” said Albert Ai, an NYU-Poly junior who commutes from Queens.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Feb. 26 print edition. Veronica Carchedi is city/state editor. Email her at [email protected]