MetroCards ‘May or May Not’ Be Regularly Stealing Your Money, MTA Admits

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Sucker. Photo: Getty Images

We've all been in this situation before: You're running late for something — a movie, or a doctor's appointment, let's say. As you shuffle down the steps of the subway, you hear a train arriving. "I must make this train," you say to yourself, and you unsheathe your MetroCard as you make a frenzied dash for the turnstiles, ready to slide it through without breaking stride. Without a hitch, you might just get your shoe in the train's doors before they slam shut. But then you get the dreaded "swipe again" message. And again. And again. At last, you're given the green light — just as your train pulls away. Gaaah! Now imagine how frustrating this would be if your unsuccessful swipes were also costing you money. It happens, apparently!

A number of subway riders have complained that when they've received the "swipe again" message, they were actually charged the fare for a ride (but, obviously, without being able to take one). You might expect, in the face of such accusations, for the MTA to assure us that these were isolated incidents, or maybe the result of a temporary glitch. Nope — it's just something we have to live with, like a flatulent roommate. According to a statement provided to CBS, "the MTA said its 12-year-old turnstiles can have trouble reading the magnetic stripe and sometimes when the 'swipe again' message appears 'a fare may or may not have been deducted.'" Hmmm, weird. Oh well. Thanks for trying!

No, seriously. You need to fix that.

It's Not Fare: MetroCards Overcharging? [CBS2]