Back in March, I mused on monthly (and weekly) MetroCards via my Twitter account:
I wish the NYC turnstiles were programmed to display expiration dates for Unlimited MetroCard.
— Second Ave. Sagas (@SecondAveSagas) March 24, 2012
Wishes apparently do come true.
This morning, an astute reader noted that the turnstile at Roosevelt Ave. had given him an expiration date. At first, I thought it might be a glitch, but after posing the question on Facebook, it seemed to be more than an isolated incident. Straphangers in Brooklyn, Chelsea and the Upper East Side reported seeming similar displays at Altantic Ave., 14th St. and 86th St., respectively. So I asked the MTA about the upgrades, and they confirmed it for me.
As part of what Transit is deeming “routine maintenance of the MetroCard system,” the agency is testing new software that displays expiration dates for unlimited-ride MetroCards when these cards are swiped through subway turnstiles. It’s unclear how long it will take for this test to arrive throughout the system, and it’s even more unclear why it’s taken 17 years since the introduction of the MetroCard for this basic piece of useful information to make its way to turnstile displays.
Even with MetroCards potentially on the way out in a matter of years (rather than, say, decades), this is a welcome, if long delayed, development. I’ll try to snap a photo when I see this in place somewhere, but I didn’t notice it this morning at Grand Army Plaza or at lunch when I swiped through on a whim at Times Square. Keep your eyes out, though; it’s coming soon.