Metrocard Problems Part Deux

Wow. Even Metrocards can be sexy.
Wow. Even Metrocards can be sexy.

Well, the Metrocard drama seems to have continued today, and still no explanations.

Paul J. Fleuranges, the chief spokesman for New York City Transit, the arm of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority that runs the subways and buses, declined to speculate on the cause of the breakdown, but said “it was a systemwide outage affecting all or close to every” of the 2,245 machines. He characterized the problem as unprecedented in its magnitude. [NY Times]

Unprecedented.  Wow.  That’s greeeeat to hear.

It’s apparently a breakdown in network communication between the MTA’s system and the company that actually does the credit card processing.

Rumor has it that some people were actually charged for a Metrocard even though the machine said it was unable to process the transaction, and no card was dispensed.  So check your statements people!

Photo edstern

Metrocard Machines Take the Morning Off

A Metrocard mechanic cleaning some parts of the machine.
A Metrocard mechanic cleaning some parts of the machine.

Did you try to buy a new Metrocard this morning between 8:30AM and 10:30AM?  Hope you didn’t try to pay with a credit card, because the machines weren’t taking them.

For unknown reasons, dozens if not hundreds of Metrocard machines stopped taking electronic payments.  Not a big deal if you were going for a $2.00 ride.

However, if you were in the market for a new $82 unlimted card, chances are you didnt have that dough burning a hole in your pocket.

The issue seemed to have replicated itself again around the afternoon rush.  I did see an especially long line at the machines this afternoon.

I guess this is what happens when you are still using Windows NT in your systems.
I guess this is what happens when you are still using Windows NT in your systems.

Around 6 p.m., at one entrance to the Times Square station, signs on the vending machines indicated that they were not accepting credit or debit cards, and a station agent opened the exit gate and ushered passengers through without making them pay.  [City Room]

Can you just imagine all the sea of confused tourists flocking to the token booth?

The Price of Being a Cheapskate Just Went Up

NYC Subway Turnstile

Ever thought of just jumping the turnstile when your Metrocard stopped working for some unknown reason?  You know you have plenty of cash/rides left on it, so it must be something wrong with the machine.  So screw it, just jump over and move on with your life.

Well, that little maneuver is going to cost you a lot more if you get caught.  The price of bouncing over the bar is now one-hundo ($100), and the new price kicked in Monday.

It used to cost you $60, but apparently that was too affordable for the homeless guys and neighborhood teens that just jump over without even a hesitation.  So upping it to $100 ought to do the trick.

They even have a special division of court that handles fare jumpers, called the Transit Adjudication Bureau.  Aka TAB.

New Metrocard Today

I just bought a new Metrocard, and was again reminded of how badly we monthy unlimited users were hosed in the fare hike.

I only bring it up because of yesterday’s news of a $3 billion deficit in the MTA budget.

Where the hell is all the money going? If there are millions of rides everyday, that means there’s millions in revenue everyday. However, it seems like that money is already spent before they even have it.

I also love how casually they say that the missing money was just for maintenance and repairs….nothing major. It’s the lack of repairs and maintenance that has caused the subway system to crumble in the first place!

Then you look around at stations like 59th Columbus Cirlce which is taking 2+ years to refurbish and you wonder what the hell is going on. They can build 30 story apartment buildings in a year, but they can’t pour fresh concrete and lay some tiles in less than 2 when it comes to the subway.

It’s a big scam.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

New NYC Subway Fares

If you went to the MetroCard machine today to buy a new monthly card and felt an odd sensation in your rear, that was the MTA raping you.

Ok, perhaps a bit strong, but the point remains the same.

The new fare increase kicks in today.  That means your $76 monthly card just jumped to $81.00.  Meanwhile, the single ride card didn’t go up a dime.  I’ve always supported the fare increase because I think something needs to be done about the crumbling system, but I think that all the fares should have gone up…to be fair.

Here’s the new rates:

New NYC Subway Fare Rates