NEW YORK — A move to improve the way MetroCards are sold at subway stations may have backfired, at least temporarily, but frustration over the problem is lingering among some of the 5.7 million people who ride the subway daily.
It's particularly annoyed people who were charged for MetroCard fares, but didn't actually get the credit on their MetroCard that would allow them to take a ride.
"Sometimes, when there is an issue," said Christina Trivelli, a passenger who'd just bought her MetroCard on the 1 train, "it's very frustrating and it makes it hard to get to where you're going."
Frustrating seems to be the best way to describe a long list of complaints about an MTA MetroCard vending machine upgrade last weekend that's apparently still having problems now, albeit a declining number of them.
Among the issues, situations like one tweeted by rider Don McKennan: "The machine at West 4th could not complete the transaction, but my card was debited $40 anyway."
Another customer tweeted that "all the machines at 74[th Street and Broadway]" will not accept debit or credit cards. That was on Tuesday. On Thursday, however, the problem worsened, at least at one machine at that location.
It was "only taking coins, no cash, no cards," said Christine Robles, who'd tried in vain to use the machine, and then had to walk to a different entrance to the station to find a machine that would take her money.
"It's kind of crazy," Robles said, "that we had to travel to another machine just to get a MetroCard."
Customer Evan Rothman tweeted that he had a "metrocard machine charging me $121 and adding no value to the card, after the software was supposedly upgraded over the weekend."
He correctly referred to an MTA upgrade to the MetroCard vending system that happened last Friday, and which was supposed to have had all of its issues worked out before the weekend was over.
The MTA conceded that that did not happen on schedule. However, it said on Thursday, the problem should be largely resolved.
"There were intermittent problems on Tuesday," the transportation authority said in a statement, "resulting from a communications issue that was resolved by Verizon and this system is up and running. We are striving for the best customer service and we apologize for any inconvenience."
"Customers who experienced an issue," the statement goes on, "will be refunded..."
To get your refund, click here.