As MetroCards turn 20 years old, MTA considers potential replacements

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It’s official. For twenty years, it has been a part of NYC.

In our pockets, it has granted us access to our city.

Subway and bus riders have been swiping MetroCards for two decades.

It appeared on January 6, 1994 at the Whitehall and Wall Street stations in lower Manhattan.

The token was phased out over the next three years as more stations and fare boxes came on-line.

The MTA believes it will be out-of-date in 2019. The agency is working on a replacement but the technology is not available. They agency is says a smart-phone payment or pass may be on the drawing board.

At the Transit Committee meeting in December, the MTA discussed awarding a $5 million bid to a company for development of  next-generation fare collection systems. The full board approved the plan.

“You can’t think of New York City without thinking of the MetroCard,” said MTA New York City Transit President Carmen Bianco.  “After two decades, it still serves millions of bus and subway riders daily offering a great transportation value. Of course, we are well on our way to developing the next generation of fare payment, part of our effort to upgrade and modernize the City’s mass transit system.”