MTA plans to take MetroCard vending machines offline and unable to process debit and credit cards are back on but this time, they aren’t scheduled to last the entire weekend.
Last week, the MTA made a last-minute announcement that there would be a “scheduled system upgrade” performed on all machines beginning Friday at 11:45 p.m. and lasting until Monday morning at 5 a.m. The machines would have only been able to accept cash payments while the maintenance was under way. This resulted in a firestorm of criticism and complaints from riders, local politicians, and everyone in between.
Following the backlash, the agency decided to postpone the system upgrade in order to give customers more time to prepare, as well as figure out a way to shorten the offline period.
On Monday, the MTA announced that the upgrades would take place this weekend but would only result in MetroCard machines being unable to accept debit and credit cards from 12:01 a.m. to 6 a.m. on Saturday.
“After hearing clearly from our customers that they needed more information regarding this upgrade, we reassessed the entire process,” said MTA managing editor Veronique Hakin in a press release. “We are aggressively communicating with customers about this upgrade to ensure that we avoid confusion, and limiting the disruption to only the very early morning hours Saturday.”
The New York Times reports that the upgrades will enhance reliability and security when processing debit and credit card transactions.