Totally Off My Game

Subway Doors Graffiti

Wow was I off my subway game today.

I swiped at the turnstile and walked right into the bar.  My Metrocard expired and I totally forgot.  So like an idiot, I had to squeeze back out and get one.

Then the Metrocard machine I went up to was not working for some reason.  It wouldn’t read any of my credit cards.  So I had to try another one.

When I finally got through, I got to the bottom of the stairs just as the train was leaving.

Once a train came, and I got on board, I was completely out of my normal position.  I kept getting caught in the flows of people getting off at each stop.  Normally I get into a spot where I can stand still all the way with minimal movement.  This time, it was in a different spot after each stop.  Annoying.

Then at my stop, I walked all the way to the end of the concourse only to find that my normal exit was closed off for construction.

It was an all around nightmare.  Glad its day one.

Multiple Turnstiles on the Fritz

Turnstile

Did you ever walk into the subway station an notice that a lot of people (including yourself) are having trouble swiping through the turnstile?

I’ve seen it happen three or four times before, and had it happen to me.

We’re regular New Yorkers that swipe through the turnstile everyday without problem.  Then all of a sudden, you try to swipe through just like any other day and you get the dreaded “Please swipe again at this turnstile.”  You swipe again…nothing.  Again…nothing.  Then on the fifth or sixth try, it works.   What the hell was that?  It’s like you’re a clueless tourist or something.

That happened today, but it wasn’t just me.  It seemed that people were having issues at all the turnstiles.  We were all looking at each other like, “Are we being punked here?”

I mean, people were getting through, but it took everyone swiping a few times each.

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.

WTF? A $107 Metrocard in the Works

Metrocard bus

For that price, it had better come with at least two drinks.

The latest news is the very real possibility of subway fares going over $100 for monthly cards.  I call bullsh*t there not because of the price necessarily, but what we get.

I love the lead from the Daily News:

Brace yourself for the C-note MetroCard.

It is so true.

Anyway, back to my point about what we get.  Here’s the breakdown of what we could be facing in a C-note fare world.  A 30 day Metrocard goes from $81 to $104 with service cuts -OR- $107 without.

So basically, you’re going to get raped for a new Metrocard, it’s just a matter of how hard.  If you want to get your ass slapped with a $104 fare and decreased services (the double whammy), that’s one option.  If you want to get raped for $107, but still enjoy the same crap services you’ve always received, that’s the other whammy.

Notice that there was no fare for BETTER service than what we have now.  How about a $125 rate structure where we could actually benefit from better technology, faster service, less frequent breakdowns, and a fresh coat of paint.  Nooooooo…why think of that.

It’s way more fun for politicians use their chewing gum to plug the leaks in the dam than actually fix the problem.

Signage to Promote Express Metrocards

Did anyone else see signs, literally put up on easels, at your subway station advertising the new EasyPay Express Metrocards?

At Columbus Circle, they had a bunch of them printed up and set up at the main entrance.

In case you don’t know already, the MTA has set up a Metrocard that automatically refills itself when the balance gets low.  It’s kind of like an EasyPass for your car.  Once your MetroCard balance gets down to $30, it will aautomatically refill itself with $40 more.

For the pay-as-you-go crowd, this is probably a great idea.  It will certainly save you time, and you’ll never really have to worry about refilling your card again.  I only wish they did the same thing for the monthly unlimited cards.  They should have one that automatically renews itself each month.

Anyway, this is the first time I’ve seen the MTA set up these little sign boards to promote a new program.  Wonder if it will make a difference.

Where’s My MetroCard Damn It?!

Ain’t this a b*tch.  I went to buy a MetroCard today.  Everything was going as normal until it came time for the stupid machine to spit out my new card.

I heard the noise of it trying to spit the card out, but nothing happened.  Then all of a sudden it asked if I wanted a receipt.  I usually say no, but this time I was sure to get one.  Ball game over.

So I was standing there like an idiot with a line of people behind me thinking, “Now what?”

I could see like 1/8th of the card sticking out of the slot.  Not enough was sticking out for me to grab a hold of it.  It I had some pliers or something, I could have probably yanked it out.

So I stepped back and let the next person try.  Of course, I said it just jammed up for mine, but they were willing to try anyway.  Same thing happened.  I was hoping it would spit out two cards (mine then that guy’s).

I gave up and went to a different machine and bought another.  $164 later, I got one monthly card.

Luckily, I got that receipt.  But now it’s like a freaking nightmare to get reimbursed for the one that didn’t come out.  One woman on the phone was trying to give me a hard time about how she couldn’t deactivate it until it had been used at least once.

I said I don’t care what you do, just give me my $82 back, or send me another card and I’ll just hold on to it until next month.