A bit of a late notice on this one, but it came together on the edge of last minute: Wednesday, February 17 — or tonight, if you’re reading this after midnight — I’ll be hosting a Q-and-A at the Transit Museum on the MTA’s fare collection efforts through the years. The talk is related to the museum’s current exhibit on 370 Jay St. and the secrets behind the building’s wall. I’ll be speaking with the MTA’s Chief Operating Office of Revenue Control Alan Putre, a 30-year veteran of the agency’s fare collection initiatives.
Putre has worked through a variety of tectonic shifts in the MTA’s approach to revenue. When he started, fares were a dollar, and riders paid with tokens. Today, a Metrocard swipe costs $2.75, and most purchases are processed electronically. The city’s obsession with the money train, fueled in part by a controversial dud of a Wesley Snipes-Woody Harrelson movie, came and went, and now, even the Metrocard may be on the way out. We’ll discuss processing and safeguarding billions of dollars in tokens and what lies in store for the MTA’s fare collection efforts.
The event kicks off at 6:30 p.m., and while I anticipate a talk of around an hour, the museum will be open until 8:30 so you can browse the exhibit (and the killer collection of vintage train cars). Tickets are $10 (unless you’re a museum member) and you can buy them right here. There’s no better way to spend a Wednesday evening in February.