Subway Cheapskate Makes Out on Leftover Fare

Stack of Metrocards

Turns out it’s not just the homeless guys that pick up the tossed Metrocards to try and to use the leftover values.

The Post reports that Georgette DiFini, an F line resident of Brooklyn, regularly picks up discarded Metrocards.  She claims that roughly 40% of all tossed cards have at least some money left on them.  Not enough for a ride though.

You might be asking yourself how on earth would anyone be left with anything less than a whole dollar on their Metrocard.  Well, it’s that tricky 15% bonus you get on any fare purchase over $7.00.  If you get a $7 card, you’re going to get bonused $1.05.  That damn $0.05 is going to carry over.

The MTA says simply refill your card to use the leftover bonus.  So in this case, you’d have to add another $0.95 to cover the remaining balance of a $2.00 fare.  It’s like the MTA is getting their ideas from the crack dealer’s handbook.  Get just a little taste extra to keep them coming back.  The $1.05 isn’t worth a damn thing.  They’ll need to spend another $0.95 to be able to use it.

Anyway, this woman finds these cards everyday. How many you ask?  Try around 45 a day!

The then takes her loot up to the tokenbooth to rollover the balance onto her card.  She’s making about $10 a week she says.

Not a bad idea if you don’t mind fighting the bums for their finds.

What happens to all the “change” that never gets used?  The MTA keeps it of course.  That change adds up to about $4 million a year.  That’s a $4 million donation New Yorkers make to the MTA a few cents at a time.

11 thoughts on “Subway Cheapskate Makes Out on Leftover Fare

  1. That’s great that she’s finding a lot of cards with money on them. Most of the passengers are just too dumb and too lazy to refill their cards.You’d be surpised to see a lot of them don’t know to even refill the card at all, they just toss them on the floor or stick it on the machines or the turnstiles They are many many more just like her out there doing the same thing, all types of people, some are also working people and then you have senior citizens, transit employees, the homeless and the swipers of course. She should have been a little more discreet about mentioning to the media that she has station agents who will transfer the money from about a dozen cards for her, in one transaction. Those agents can have a problem with management on that. The agent should have told her, look I’m really not supposed to be doing this, only 5 cards at a time, but I’ll do you the favor, just keep your mouth shut about it, thank you.


  2. @Michael:
    She didn’t tell us what station she finds her cards, all she mentioned was the F line, so I would think she has to be somewhere in midtown in a high volume busy area with a lot of tourists who throw away their metrocards all the time, so I’d say 34th St, 42nd St or 50th St Rockefeller Center. Of course she’s exaggerating to some degree, she was in the NY Post.


  3. @FELICIA:
    The best cards I find are not in the subway, they are in the supermarket or on the movie theater line. It’s clumsy New Yorkers reaching for their cash and dropping their card. From my experience, the further one is from the subway, the more likely a found card has significant value on it.


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