You May Never Have To Swipe Your MetroCard Again

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MetroPhoto: Courtesy of MTA.
Say goodbye to the days of furiously swiping those little yellow MetroCards to catch your rush-hour train, because according to the MTA, a new system is on its way. Twenty years after the first MetroCards were issued, it seems that the technology is (finally) becoming obsolete. By 2019, access to subways will center around "bank issued contactless cards" like debit and credit cards, or smartphones reports Fast Company.

This will be quite the change for the 1.6 billion riders who use NYC subways each year. With the current system, there's a lot of unnecessary pollution, the cards are annoyingly easy to lose or damage, and it's just gotten too expensive to maintain. The upgrades will hopefully allow travelers to have one app that will give them access to all forms of regional travel. While everything is still in preliminary stages, it seems that mobile ticketing is in the works to eliminate the current machines that can cost up to $50,000 each. Of course, this has its limitations because not everyone owns a smartphone.

Compared to other metropolitan cities, New York's transit authority is lagging woefully behind, as Boston and D.C. have already updated their technology. While the future of the MetroCard is still hazy at this point, we're all for a more seamless, cheaper, and environmentally friendly way to embark on our daily journeys. It will certainly be interesting to see what materializes in the coming years. (Fast Company)