NEW YORK — MetroCards are officially on their way out.
The MTA will take its first steps this fall to phase out their use as a payment method.
Bus riders on Staten Island and subway riders along a stretch of the 4,5 and 6 trains will be able to use mobile wallets or bank cards, cash or a new smart-card to pay for their commutes starting in May 2019.
Commuters will be able to use the current MetroCard system though 2023.
The MTA is installing the new system in several phases over the next five years. It will expand to other boroughs and stations after the initial roll-out along the Lexington Line between Grand Central and Barclays Center and on buses in Staten Island.
For more than 20 years, MetroCards have helped move New York. It was also phased in as a replacement for the token in the early 1990s. Maintaining the current system gets more expensive every year.
In October 2017, the MTA Board approved the contract with Cubic for the next-generation fare payment system. The company has worked on previous payment projects.