MTA Plans To Phase Out MetroCards, but First: Super Bowl MetroCards!

Categories: MTA

Super Bowl Sunday is drawing near, and the first indication is the commemorative cards an MTA vending machine near you is spitting out.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority has printed up one million Super Bowl edition MetroCards in all -- 250,000 each of four total commemorative designs, accounting for more than a quarter of the cards printed and distributed this month.

Technically, the Super Bowl cards are advertisements, a service for which the NFL paid somewhere between $250,000 to $450,000 ($.25 to $.45 per card), but you can go ahead and consider them collectors items anyway -- if not as token of Super Bowl XLVIII, than of the good old days when the subway system operated on paper tickets.

The MetroCard, which replaced the subway token, was introduced 20 years ago this week, and this week the MTA said the MetroCard itself would be following in the token's slow, plodding footsteps toward obsolescence. By 2019, the agency hopes to have phased out the MetroCard entirely. Instead, riders will be able to pay with a bank card or a smart phone -- the MTA just hasn't figured out exactly which yet.

The upsides are many -- less pollution, less risk of losing your card, less time spent getting through the turnstile -- but there is at least one downside: less advertising space, and no collector's cards.

All the more reason to buy a soon-to-be retro MetroCard today. Distribution of the Super Bowl editions cards will continue through Monday, February 3 but, oddly, only at 400 of the subway system's 468 stations. (We've asked which stations, and will update when we hear back from them.)

Send story tips to the author, Tessa Stuart

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

NY commemorative Super Bowl cards? BUT it's in the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.WTF ?

frank124c topcommenter

I believe we should get rid of metrocards and we should get rid of the fare altogether. A real estate tax on buildings located near subway stations could raise enough revenue to run the subways and buses. Also eliminating fares would reduce the number of employees needed to sell the cards. Before you say this is too radical, none other than the late William Buckley advocated this and he was the spokeperson for the ultra conservatives.

Now Trending

New York Concert Tickets

From the Vault