I’m a devotee of the 30-day Unlimited Ride MetroCard. I take so many trips around the city that the $81 card basically costs me just over $1.00 a ride. But the 30-day card also leads to some of the more annoying subway moments around.
Picture this: It’s early in the morning, and your subway stop is really crowded. You hear — and see — the train you want pulling in, and you rush to swipe your 30-day card. You step forward…and slam into the turnstile bar. “Insufficient Fare” flashes the LCD display. Your time has expired, and while you try to keep track of when the 30 days are up, no one really marks it on your calendar.
Dejected, you head to the MetroCard Vending Machine and fill up your card. As you trudge down to the platform, it’s too late. That train you wanted was long gone, and you’ll just have to wait for the next one.
But no longer! This subway frustration has been eliminated. The MTA’s EasyPayXPress program — and auto-bill for your MetroCard — now features an unlimited card program. So far, more than 16,000 pay-per-ride users take advantage of the program, and with the debut of unlimited card service, more should do so.
“The addition of an Unlimited card option is the natural next step for the EasyPayXpress Program,” NYC Transit’s VP of Corporate Communications Paul Fleuranges said. “We expect that Unlimited MetroCard users will, as we’ve seen with our Pay-Per-Ride population, appreciate the fact that they never have to worry about their card running out of rides or standing on an MVM line with their credit card or cash to buy a new one.”
Here’s how it works: Straphangers can sign up here for an account. Submit your credit card info, and in a few days, you’ll receive a MetroCard — good for two years — in the mail. The program automatically bills the credit card every 30 days, and the MetroCard will not expire until the 24-month term is up. In effect, it’s a two-year unlimited ride card.
The renewal options are designed for the user as well. It’s easy to switch from an unlimited ride account to a pay-per-ride card. So if you’re going away for a long vacation, you won’t burn the money on an unused unlimited-ride card.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, I love this program. What’s not to like? It eliminates a key source of underground frustration, and it’s been a long time coming. So check it out.