The MTA Is Raking In Serious Cash From Your Wastefulness


It’s been almost exactly two months since the fare hike for our city’s public transportation went into full effect. Overnight, straphangers’ wallets were a little heavier, facing a permanent $2.50 per ride fee as well as bumped-up prices for weeklies and monthlies. And presumably, no one was happy.

But there was another roadblock we’d now have to face collectively as commuters: a $1 fee if we decided to buy a new MetroCard instead of replenishing the value on our old one.

Naturally, it’s a pain for those who’ve lost their golden tickets but the measure was an incentive snuck into the fare hike to discourage New Yorkers from wasting plastic (by the thousands). You would think we’d think twice about tossing our MetroCards into the trash once their lives ended. Turns out we didn’t… and now the MTA is making much more money than expected from the tiny provision.

The MTA announced last week that, as of now, $18 million would be raised just by the end of this year, with an additional $2 million coming from saving all that plastic. Although the exact amount of money raised in two months’ time is still unknown, put it this way: if the trend follows, the agency is blowing past the estimated $20 million it set for itself in the budget way ahead of schedule. And, for reference, the MTA pumps out 160 million MetroCards on average every year, costing about $9.5 million.

Since it’s still an estimate, the agency is still unsure what the hell it’s going to do with all this extra cash lying around. Add this to the $30 million the MTA is receiving from Albany shortly. So we’re just gonna leave these suggestions here.

Cheers to being wasteful, New York. You’ve (we’ve) done well.

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