Resident Discount Metrocards

Posted on December 15th, 2008 by The SUBWAYblogger in Live Blogging On the Subway

So here’s an idea that came to my mind.  I’m sure I am not the first one to think of this, so I’m by no means trying to take credit.  I’m just trying to initiate the discussion.

What if Metrocards were priced based on residency?

People living in the 5 boros would receive a significant discount on Metrocards while people from out of town would pay the higher rate.

Let’s assume that the price of all fares are going up.  With that in mind, let’s make the out of towner rate a premium and residence get a break.  Maybe the price of a monthly unlimited card goes up to just $90 for residence.

You could sell them like TransitCheks.  Residents would simply receive their cards via mail or from their employers.  Or maybe it is just one card that automatically gets renewed month to month.  That way you would be able to verify who is a resident.

You could attach it to drivers liscences or ID cards even!

Just an idea.

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  1. Ben K. said on December 15th, 2008 at 12:27 am

    I don’t think the difference in ridership numbers are high enough to justify this discount. It would probably make more sense just to jack up the pay-per-ride charges a la London than to give residents a discount. You’d have to assume that residents ride the subways enough to buy Unlimited ride or discounted cards.

  2. The SUBWAYblogger said on December 15th, 2008 at 9:46 am

    @Ben K.: I’m just saying that there should be some sort of benefit to being a resident here over the people that commute in to work here.

    So yeah, all fares would have to go up. I’m just proposing having the biggest increases shouldered by those that don’t live here.

    We pay an ultra premium to live in this city, but anyone that walks in gets to enjoy all the same benefits.

  3. David said on December 15th, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    I see what you are getting at; I think that this would be a possible solution, however, someone would have to put down a good amount of money at first in order to get this system working; i.e processing systems, workers to mail out cards, etc. Also, Would people who are living in the 5 boroughs include college students, I go to school in the city and even though I live here for only a portion of the year, if fares jack up for “non-residents” it will probably be harder for all of us to get around.

    I’m not trying to bash this idea; if that’s what it sounds like; I think it would be a good program. As for getting the cards renewed or putting more money on them or what not; maybe once you get the card from your employer or in the mail; you could still fill it up at the lower price at the machines at the stations; and have the machines be able to tell the difference between resident cards and non-resident cards and charge the appropriate price level. (until they expire, say they last about a year or so before you have to re-verify that your a resident.)

  4. Cap'n Transit said on December 15th, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    Instant black market!

  5. Sam said on December 11th, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    I think buying in bulk should net someone a cheaper card. One can also try this site: to sell their unneeded metrocards and/or buy discounted ones. Some students sell their free metrocards at this site I'm told.

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