Tuesday, March 25, 2008

How To Avoid Having $1.58 Left On Your NYC Transit MetroCard

That would be annoying, right?

On March 2, 2008, the New York City MTA enacted fare hikes, which led to a good deal of frustration amongst the commuting public. One of the major changes was a decrease in the automatic bonus added to any MetroCard purchase over $7.00.

This is old news, obviously. But for those of you who aren’t familiar with New York City transit, a ride on either a bus or subway costs $2. So under the old bonus system, if you bought a $10 MetroCard, you’d get a 20% bonus and have a total of $12 on your card. That would get you 6 rides. Nice and even. Or, buy a $20 card, and get a $4 bonus. That’s good for 12 rides. Totally sweet.

Now, if you buy a $10 card, you’re left with $1.50 after 5 rides. And you can’t take that 6th ride unless you refill the card. Along the same lines, the $20 card will now leave you $1 left over.

This is where things get a little tricky.

First off, I was so used to tossing my old cards after I used that final ride, that I threw out the last one before realizing it had $1.50 left on it. Stupid move on my part.

The second time I had $1.50 left on my card, I thought I’d be smart and add $10.50 to it, so that I’d be back to my old, familiar $12 card.

Wrong again. I got a 15% bonus on the refill as well. Thanks MTA. I now have a $13.58 MetroCard.

What the fuck am I going to do with that extra $1.58?

Complete and total nightmare.

You can see how this could easily spiral out of control.

So, if you’d like to save that last $1 or $1.50 on your card, but don’t want to hold onto the same card for many months and many refills - whether due to superstition, OCD, or similar mental disorder - here’s a quick and easy table of what to add to your card to avoid any remaining balance after the refill, and subsequent mass transit rides.

You’re welcome, fair citizens of New York! Or kind visitors to our magnificent city!


Dennis said...

The Mill is all wise and knowing.

You should produce these on business size cards (laminated of course) and sell them on the streets!

The Mill said...

How much could I charge for these? I think I'd rather give them out for free as a public service - sort of like condoms in high schools.