[UPDATE]: Good news: the MTA has canceled its plans to carry out a “scheduled system upgrade” on MetroCard vending machines this weekend that would have stifled the machine’s ability to accept payments via debit or credit cards.
According to the New York Post, MTA spokesman Jon Weinstein said that the agency heard customer concerns “loud and clear” and will postpone the system maintenance until next week as a way to give customers more time to plan ahead. The MTA is also working on a way to shorten the maintenance process and will provide more details on the process on Monday.
If you need to re-up your MetroCard this weekend, it might be good to get that done sooner than later.
On Wednesday, NYCT Subway’s Twitter account tweeted that because of a “scheduled system upgrade,” MetroCard vending machines may not be able to accept payment via debit or credit cards. The system maintenance is due to begin Friday at 11:45 p.m., and according to the tweet, it could last until 5 a.m. on Monday morning.
It’s unclear whether this means all machines would be out of service for the full 53 hours, or machines at random stations would be experiencing outages throughout the weekend. We’ve reached out to the MTA for clarification.
Plan ahead! Due to a scheduled system software upgrade, MetroCard vending machines may not be accepting credit or debit card purchases from Friday, February 2, at 11:45PM, to Monday, February 5, at 5:00AM. Purchase MetroCards before Friday evening or use cash.— NYCT Subway (@NYCTSubway) February 1, 2018
As a reminder, only the larger MetroCard vending machines will accept cash, and “can only return up to $9 in change. The change given includes dollar coins, not bills.”
The MTA also tweeted a plug for its EasyPayXpress MetroCard, which does not require visiting a machine to refill; however, New Yorkers who signed up for one today wouldn’t exactly receive it in time to avoid the inconvenience of this weekend’s changes.
Over the next few years, New York City Transit is phasing out the MetroCard and introducing tap-to-pay technology linked directly to electronic payment accounts. In the meantime, sign up for EasyPayXpress to skip the lines and have your MetroCard automatically refilled.— NYCT Subway (@NYCTSubway) February 1, 2018
And if you guessed that reactions to this news were somewhere between “perplexed” and “infuriated,” give yourself a round of applause (Joe Lhota’s not going to be happy about this):
Also the uncertainty of "may not be" vs. "will not be."— Second Ave. Sagas (@2AvSagas) February 1, 2018
The NYC Subway: It Might Work, Sometimes.
So let this be a reminder to make sure your MetroCard is filled—or that you’re carrying around a precise amount of cash—before you try and commute this weekend, just in case.
- MTA scraps plans to take MetroCard machines offline after uproar [New York Post]