We live in an age of carefree subway riding. It may not seem carefree when you’re sweating on the platform waiting for a train that may or may not be coming because of service changes, and the nearby homeless guy is singing very off-key. But one thing owners of an unlimited MetroCard never have to worry about is what it will cost them to take another subway trip. Ride around the city all day? Sure. Pop out on the way home from work to get some groceries at Whole Foods because the concept of organic food hasn’t yet reached the supermarket near your apartment? Why not? It doesn’t matter! You already paid for as many rides as you could ever possibly want.
Well, don’t get too comfortable, there. The MTA, in its perpetual state of budget crisis, is considering a proposal to cap monthly unlimited cards at 90 rides, and weekly unlimited cards at 21 rides — about three swipes per day. Depending on your level of subway activity, this may not matter much; the MTA expects it to affect only about 10 percent of riders, like those who work as messengers or have active social lives.
Oh, and there could also be a $1 fee on new MetroCards. And the price of a monthly MetroCard could shoot up $10 to $99 a month. Also, there will be a 50-cent fine for swiping the MetroCard too slowly. Nah, that last one won’t happen. It doesn’t seem that implausible anymore, though.