New ‘Smart Card’ System Could Spell Doom for MetroCard

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First a new subway map, and now this. The MTA will begin testing a new, tap-and-go payment system Monday as part of a six-month pilot program, with the intention to eventually phase out the MetroCard. The new system will allow bus and subway riders to pass a specially equipped key chain, credit card, or phone across a reader instead of swiping a card, similar to the methods in place in London, Washington D.C., and Hong Kong. Participants will register beforehand to have the money drawn from their bank accounts, “much like the E-Z Pass for drivers.” The agency hopes to completely replace the MetroCard by 2014, at which point instead of holding up your friends searching your pockets and wallet for a yellow card, you'll, uh, be holding them up as you frantically look for your key chain.

With Tap-and-Go Transit, a Plan to Kill the MetroCard [MetropolisWSJ]