Update, 3/23/15, 8:15 p.m.
Village Voice photoillustration Don't be fooled by those tempting round numbers! Go for the odd one!
Fare hikes suck. But see what the MTA went and did? You have to look closely, and you have to know what you're looking for. But the Metropolitan Transportation Authority appears to have reprogrammed its MetroCard machines yesterday, deviating from its default settings, which steer purchasers to buy in round numbers that leave them with worthless remainders when the ride-buying is done.
See that $27.25 button there? The one with the (Village Voice–supplied) big green arrow pointed at it? That's the magic number — assuming you're refilling a MetroCard with a zero balance. PUSH THAT BUTTON! MAGIC THINGS HAPPEN!
Trust us: That's your button. Why doesn't the MTA tell you that's the button to push if you want to make everything come out even? We don't know. But we'll call them and ask.
Original story follows:
This Sunday, March 22, the well-meaning folks at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority are poised to louse up New Yorkers' lives by raising bus and subway fares to $2.75 per ride, up from the current $2.50.
For those of us who like to consider ourselves frugal, marginally adept at avoiding being gamed by the system, and socially conscious, the fare hike triggers a two-level reaction.
The first stage of grief: The new fare structure is — like just about everything else in life — unfair to poor riders!
The second stage of grief: I finally got used to putting $19.05 on my MetroCard to keep the MTA from ripping me off with its default purchase options, and what the hell am I supposed to do now that the fare has gone up a quarter and the discount is 11 percent?
Guess what, fellow straphanger: The MTA actually has you covered! Late today the transit agency announced in a press release that it has unveiled a new MetroCard Calculator, "a handy tool that will assist customers with planning a new card purchase or refilling a full fare Pay-Per-Ride MetroCard."More »